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3 1833 02303 5170 

Gc 979.4 B22h v. 4 
Bancroft 7 Hubert Hovje, 
History of California 

M. Us 







Vol. IV. 1840-1S45. 



Allen County Public Library 

WO Webster Street 

PO Box 2270 

f«t Wayni, IN 46801-2270 

Entered according to Act of Congress in llio Yeiii 


In tlie Ulfice of the Librarian of Congress, at AVii 

-■1/^ Mights Resa-vciL 


"~" 121G834 





Governor's Policy — Spirit of Foreigners^ — Fears and Rumors — Padre 
Real's Waniing — In the Junta — Garner's Denunciation — Tlie Horse- 
race — Theories — Castro and Vallejo — A Foreign Plot — Diary of a 
Crazy Man — The Arrest — Documentary Record — Alvarado's Procla- 
mation — In the South — Exaggerations and Falsehoods — Lists of 
Names — Arrest of Graham and Morris — In Prison at Monterey — 
Thomas J. Farnham— Trial— The Voyage— At Sta Bdrbara— At Tepie 
— Eiforts of British Consul Barron — Action of Government — Return of 
NineteenExiles — Castro's Trial in Mexico — The Danaide and St Louis 
at Monterey — Visit of the Curagoa — English Claims — Commodore 
Jones and the American Claims 1 




Condition of Missions in 1836 — Secularization — Acts of Authorities 1836- 
S — Chico's Policy — Secularization of Five Missions — New Missions 
Proposed — Tlie Revolution and its Effect — Spoliation — Alvarado's 
Efforts for Reform — Keglamento of 1839- Hartnell as Visitador Gen- 
eral — Reglamento of 1840 — Duran's Views — Hartnell's Second Visita 
Resignation — Mission Statistics — President and Prefect — Ecclesias- 
tical — Garcia Diego as Bishop — Stipends of Friars — Pious Fund — 
Indian Affairs — Troubles on the San Diego Frontier — Ranchos Plun- 
dered — Sonoma Frontier — Vallejo's Policy — Fights and Treaties — 
Small-pox — South of the Bay — Horse-thieves — The Chaguanosoa — 
Seasons and Earthquakes A2 



General Remarks— Statistics of Trade— New Mexican Traders— Otter 
Skins- Smuggling — Chico'a Bando — Action of California Congress — 

Vessels of 1S36 — Regiilatious— Hawaiian Trade— Cattle Driven to 
Oregon by Young — ICdward's Diary — Vallcjus Plans — Fleet and 
Revenues of 1S37 — Carrillo's Decree — Vessels and Statistics of 183S 
— Otter-liuutiug — Captain Bancroft Killed by Indians— Silver for 
Duties— Coasting Trade to be Prohibited — Vessels of 1839— Alva- 
rado's Policy — Stearns as a Smuggler — Fleet of 1840 — Officers of Cus- 
tom-house and Comisaria — Financial Administration — Distribution 
of Revenues— Alphabetical List of Vessels, 1836-40 79 



Foreign Influence in the Revolution — Interference as a Cun-ent Topic — 
Attitude of Different Classes — French Relations — Rumored Cession 
of California to England — Quotations from American Papers— Policy 
in 1837-8— Horse-thieves— Restrictions of 1839^0— The Exiles— Pi- 
oneei's — Personal Items — Authorities — Statistics — Something about 
the Old Settlers — Their Character and Iniluence — Prominent Names 
—New-comers of 1836-40 — Most of Them Transient Visitors — Immi- 
gration — Annual Lists — Chronological Items — The Lausanne and 
her Passengers at Bodega 107 


scttek's fort— visits and books. 
John A. Sntter's Early Life — Comes to California via Oregon, Honolulu, 
;uid-Sitka — Reception at Monterey — Purchases on Credit — Trip up 
the Sacramento — Niieva Helvecia Founded — Relations with Sonoma 
— Annals of 1839-40— Indian Policy — Cattle, Beaver-skins, and 
Brandy — Sutter's Plans — Phelps' Visit— Recruits— Sutter a Mexican 
Citizen — Bibliography of Foreign Visits — The Peacoci— Ruschenber- 
ger's Nari'ative — The S«//)A«r— Belcher's Narrative— Survey of the 
Sacramento — Slacum's Visit— The I'enw«— Petit-Thouars' Voyage- 
Forbes on California— The Arl(inhe—'La\)\, Campagne — Phelps' 
Fore and Aft— Farnham's Life in California— J. F. B. M 122 



Ye-irly Vessels — Resume — Report of 1831 — Khl(5bnikof's Mission — Vic- 
toria's Policy— Figueroa's Diplomacy — Vallejo's Mission to Ross — 
Wrangell and Beechey— Annals of 1834-9— Kostromitiuof Succeeded 
by Rotchef — Warehouse at Sauzalito— Wrangell's Plan of E.xtension 
—His Failure in Mexico, 1836- Resolve to Abandon Ross, 1S38-9— 

Proposed Sale to Hudson's Bay Company — Affair of the La 
18)0 — Vallejo and Kuprianof — Proposed Sale to Vallejo — Land and 
Buildings — Absurd Instructions from Mexico — Sale to Sutter — Con- 
tract and Deed— No Land Purchased— Russian Title to Ross — The 
Muldrow Claim of Later Years — Departure of the Colonists — How 
the Debt was Paid, 1843-59 153 



Events of the Year — Small Part Played by Califomians — Apathy in Poli- 
tics—A Season of Drought— At the Capital— Governor Alvarado — 
Jimeno Acting Ruler— N.j Session of the Junta Departamental — No 
Excess of Government — AJn;iiiistiation of Justice — Mission Affairs 
— Continued Spoliatiiiii — .MotVas' Statistics — Pueblo of San Juan de 
Arguello — The Bishop's Arrival — Indian Affairs — A Time of Peace 
— Military Items — Alvarado and Vallejo — Policy and Motives of the 
Comandante General — Unfounded Charges — Action in Mexico — 
Reconciliation — Castro or Prudon — Yallejo's Plans for Reform 190 





Ti-ading Regulations— Coasting Trade Suspended and Restored— New 
Mexican Caravan — Smuggling — Vallejo's Plan — Otter-hnnting — 
Whalers — List of Vessels — Statistics of Revenue — Financial Admin- 
istration — Hudson's Bay Company in California — Visit and Journal 
of Sir James Douglas — The Fur-hunters Licensed — Purchase of Live- 
stock — Proposed Trading-post — Rae's Establishment at Yerba Buena 
— Visit of Sir George Simpson and Chief Factor McLoughlin — The 
Company and Sutter — Simpson to Vallejo — Map — Simpson's Narra- 
tive — Quotations — Warner's Lecture on California — Peirce's Visit 
and Journal 'J03 



Progress at New Helvetia — The Fort — Indians — Industries — Vioget's 
Map — Sutter's Land Grant — Visitors — Purchase of Ross — Views of 
Peirceand Simpson — Sutter's Troubles — Debts — Trade and Trapping 
—Vallejo and Sutter— Threats of Revolt— Letter to Leese— U. S. 
Exploring Expedition — The Fleet — Published Results — Operations 
in California— Ringgold on the Sacramento — Emmons' Overland 

Trip from Oregon — Map — Wilkes' Narrative — Serious Defects — Quo- 
tations — Duflot de Mofras — His Movements — His Experience at 
Monterey, Yerba Buena, and Sonoma— His Character— Book — Map. 226 



Hopes and Plans of Foreign Nations — United States — Manifest Destiny 
— Wilkes and Warner— Foreign Opinions— British Projects— Simp- 
son's Views — Aspirations of France — Mofras on a Catholic Protecto- 
rate — Sutter as a Frenchman — Advantages of Yankee Methods — ■ 
Beginning of Overland Immigration — Excitement in the Frontier 
States — Bartleson Party from Missouri — Bidwell's Diary — Narratives 
of Belden, Chiles, and Hopper— Crossing the Desert and Sierra— List 
of Names — Arrival and Reception — Policy toward Foreigners — 
Vallejo's Acts— Dr Marsh — The Workman -Rowland Party from 
New Mexico — Wilson's Narrative — Rowland's List. — Other Parties 
— Mrs Walker and Mrs Kelsey — List of New-comers for 1841 — Items 
about Old Settlers 256 



Prudon at Monterey— Alvarado's Plots — Bustamante or Santa Anna^ 
The Governor's Despatches — Departure of the Comisionados Casta- 
fiares and Prudon — Too Late— Manuel Micheltorena Appointed 
Governor and Comandante General — His Instructions — Raising an 
Army of Convicts — The Journey — Batallon Fijo — List of Officers — 
Arrival at San Diego — At Los Angeles — Vallejo Turns over the Mil- 
itary Command — Alvarado Disappointed but Submissive — Proclama- 
tiou — Micheltorena Assumes the Governorship at Angeles in De- 
cember — Junta Departamental— Tribunal de Justicia — Discovery of 
Gold 281 



English, French, and American Schemes— Jonos' Instructions— The French 
Fleet— English Fleet— Rumors of War- Cession of Californias— 
Monroe Doctrine— The United Slates and Ci/anc at Monterey- Cap- 
ture of the Guipuzcoana — Jones' Position and Motives— Occupation 
and Restoration of the Capital — Authorities in Manuscript and 
Print — Jones at San Francisco and Sonoma — Reports — Amval of 
the Dale and Yorktoimt^-ln the South — Micheltorena's Valor- Mex- 

ican Bombast — ^Eeporis to Mexico — Claims for Damages — Tlie Tasno 
and Alert — Jones at Los Angeles — Bocanegra-and Thompson in Mex- 
ico — Webster and Almonte in Washington — In Congress — The Press 
-^ones Recalled 208 


Mission Management — Decree of Restoration — Duran and Alvarado — 
Local Items — Bishop Garcia Diego at Santa Barbara — Grand Episco- 
pal Plans — The Pious Fnnd in Mexico — Santa Anna Takes It fro7n 
the Bishop — Incorporated in the National Treasury — The Result — 
Indian Affairs — No Hostilities and Few Runiors— Commercial and 
Maritime Affairs — List of Vessels — Financial Items — Foreigners — 
List of Pioneers and Visitors for the Year— Part of the Bartleson 
Company Return Overland — Minor Items — New Mexican Immigra- 
tion — Bibliography of 1842 — Robinson's Life in California — Visit of 
the King's Orphan — Bidwell's Journey — Marsh's Letter to Jones — 
Peirce's Letter 330 



The Governor at Los Angeles — Financial Troubles — Warfare against 
Destitution — A Junta of Angelinos — Aid from Citizens, from Vallejo, 
and from Limantour— Symptoms of Controversy — Micheltorena with 
his Batallon Comes to Monterey — Reception — Rumors of Revolt — 
Graham's Offer — Junta of Officers at Monterey — Prefectures Sup- 
pressed — Absence of Records — Swearing of the Bases — Vote for Santa 
Anna — Junta Departamental — Elections — CastaiSares for Congress — 
Indian Affairs — Expedition to Mendocino or Clear Lake — The Cho- 
los at Angeles and Monterey — Exaggerated Accusations 350 



Anticipation of a Change — Policy of Governor and Padres — Michel torena's 
Decree Restoring the Missions to the Friars — Motives — The Change 
Effected — Mission Lands — Missionary Personnel and Officials — The 
Bishop and his Financial Troubles— Tithes — Garcia Diego and 
Vallejo — Patroness of the Diocese — Friars not to be Politicians — 
Scandal Prevented — Commercial Regulations — Smuggling — Fear of 
Losing the Boston Trade — Whalers — Minor Items — Custom-house 
Officials— Finance— FalUng-off of Revenues- List of Vessels 368 



— Constitutional Reforms— Prefectures Restored — Vote for Presi- 
dent — Jones and Larliin — Castillero's Mission — Military Organiza- 
tion — September Revolt at Angeles^Elections — Alvarado for Con- 
gress — Varela Revolt at Angeles — Carrillo Exiled — Flores Revolt 
at Santa Barbara — Indian Affairs — Contract with Gantt and Marsh 
— Local Items 518 



Secularization to be Completed— Pico's Policy — Chronological Develop- 
ments Vie-ns of President Duran — Bandos of April, May, and Octo- 
ber — Preparations and Inventories — Debts — Pico's Regulations for 
Sale and Renting of the Missions— Tliree Establishments Sold — Four 
Rented — Ecclesiastical Affairs — Pious Fund — Commerce — Foreign 
Goods — A New Class of Smuggling — Whalers — Custom-house — Al- 
varado as Administrator^Minor Ports — Treasury — Abrcgo and 
Valle — Financial Difficulties and Statistics — Castro and Pico — The 
Sta7- of the Went Wrecked — Distribution of Debt and Revenue — List 
of Vessels, 1841-45 546 



Overland Immigration— New Mexicans— The McMahon-CIyman Com- 
pany from Oregon in July — Clyman's Diary — Oregon Train of 1845 — 
Palmer's Journal — Cooke's Scenes — CalLfornian Agents at Fort Hall 
The Swasey-Todd Company — Sublette and liis Men — The Grigsby- 
Ide Company — Names — Women and Children — Recollections of Miss 
Ide — Statements of Knight, Gregson, Dewell, Elliott, and Tustin — 
FriSmont's Third Expedition — Over the Sierra by Two Routes in De- 
cember — A Blunder — Kings River and Kern River — Bibliography — 
The Hastings-Semple Company— A Narrow Escape — Pioneers and 
Visitors of 1845 571 



Foreign Consulates — Larkin, Leidesdorff, Forbes, Gasquet, and Lataillade 
— British Schemes — Nothing but Suspicions — Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany — Suicide of Rae — Schemes of the United States — Buchanau to 
Larkin — Plans of Marsh and Weber — Impending War— Arrest of 
Smith — Orders from Mexico — Pico's Proclamations — Military Prep- 
arations — Kind Treatment of Immigrants — Mexican Orders for Ex- 



palsion of Americans — Castro Permits Them to Remain — Affairs on 
the Sacramento— Sutter's Welcome to New-comers — The Paissians 
Want their Pay— Sutter AVisUes to Sell out — Diary of New Helve- 



Population— San Diego — Last of the Presidial Company— Municipal Af- 
fairs — Eanchos — Mission San Diego — San Luis Key — Padre Ibarra^ 
Wasting-away of the Estates — San Juan Capistrano — Pueblo of San 
Juan de Argiiello — San Dieguito, San Pascual, and Las Flores — Los 
Angeles District— Statistics— City and Suburbs— Local Events — Pre- 
fecture and Municipal Government — Criminal Record — Ranchos — 
San Pedro— San Gabriel — Decadence under Majordomos — San Ber- 
nardino — Agua Mansa — San Fernando — Mission Rented — Santa 
Biirbara District — Presidio and Town — Sub-pi-efect and Jueces de 
Paz — Ranchos-^Mission — Inventories and Renting — San Buenaven- 
tura — Santa In^s — Padre Moreno — The College — Purisima — Padre 
Abella— Small-pox- Ruin and Sale 617 



Population of the North and of California — Monterey District — Events 
at the Capital — Military Items — Prefecture — Municipal Afiairs — 
List of Ranchos — Sau Cdrlos— San Luis Obisbo — A New Pueblo — 
Sale of Ex-raission Property — San Miguel— San Antonio — Soledad — 
San Juan de Castro — Santa Crnz^Villa de Branciforte — San Fran- 
cisco District — Population — Events — Pueblo Matters — Sub-prefect- 
ure — Military — Growth of Yerba Buena — New Custom-Iiouse — Land 
Grants in the North — Mission Dolores — San Rafael — Solano— Pue- 
blo of Sonona — Ross and Bodega — New Helvetia — San Jos6 Mission 
— Padres Muro, Gutierrez, and Quijas — Santa Clara — Padre Mercado 
—Pueblo of San Jos6 649 

PloNEiiR Register and Index. 'Ibailez' to 'Quivey'. 





Governor's Policy— Spirit of Foreigners — Fears and Rumors— Padbe 
Real's Warning — In the Junta— Garner's Denonciation — The 
Horse-race— Theories— Castro and Vallejo— A Foreign Plot — 
Diary of a Crazy Man — The Arrest — Documentary Record — Alva- 
rado's Proclamation — In the South— Exaggerations and False- 
hoods — Lists of Names — Arrest of Graham and Morris — In Prison 
AT Monterey — Thomas J. Farnham — Trial — The Voyage— At Sta 
BARBARA — At Tepic — Efforts of British Consul Babron — Action op 
Government — Return op Nineteen Exiles — Castro's Trial in Mex- 
ico — The 'Dana"de' and 'St Louis' at Monterey — Visit of the 
'CuRAgoA '—English Claims— Commodore Jones and the American 

We have now reached a period in the annals of 
California when the doings of foreigners become a 
more important element than those of natives or Mexi- 
cans, though the territorial ownership of the latter 
was not yet disputed. Indeed, matters pertaining 
directly or indirectly to the subject of foreign rela- 
tions fill two thirds of the space in this volume, which 
brings the country's history in all its phases down to 
1845. Though the preceding volume brought politi- 
cal annals down to 1840, the chronological limits 
assigned to this volume are 1836-45, since several 
•chapters ai-e devoted to developments of earlier date 
than 1840, one on the Russian establishment reaching 
back to 1831. This overlapping, as already explained,. 


is unavoidable, except by the sacrifice of symmetrical 
subject-grouping; and in this instance it will prove 
obviously a convenience to the reader bj^ throwing to- 
gether a large amount of matter pertaining to foreign 
uffiiirs, and preliminary to a narrative of the so-called 
conquest of l'846-8, to be given in another volume. 
The Pioneer Register is continued in this volume, to 
be completed in the next. 

Tlie arrest and exile of Isaac Graham and his com- 
panions in 1840 belong properly to the subject of 
foreign relations, to be treated separately for this as 
for preceding periods; but as the narrative is much 
too long to be included in the chapter on that general 
subject for 183G-40, and as the topic is one of the 
most prominent in the annals of the year, I prefer to 
present it here in a separate chapter, the last of seven 
devoted to the political history of the half-decade, 
before proceeding to consider general institutionary 
matters of the same period. 

The Graham affair is one which presents unusual 
difficulties to the historian. It is now, and probably 
will ever be, impossible to give a version that can be 
regarded as accurate in every particular. Much false 
testimony is before me on both sides respecting cer- 
tain phases of the matter; while on other phases the 
record, if accurate, is unsatisfactory. The version 
best known to the world is the partisan one published 
by Farnham, Wilkes, Hastings, and others who have 
followed those writers — a version grossly exaggerated, 
to say the least, against the Californians and in behalf 
of the American settlers. A statement much more 
moderate and just in tone, if somewhat less detailed 
in matter, is that of Alfred Robinson, reproduced in 
substance by Tuthill. The narrative of Duliot de 
Mofras is favorable to the Californians, and has been 
followed b}^ Gleeson and one or two other writers.* 
My material from the archives and other original 
sources is plentiful, and I am in a position to correct 


many erroneous statements made by others, and to 
throw new light on the subject generally, even if I 
cannot clear away all uncertainty respecting it. 

The number of foreign residents was considerably 
increased in these years, and many of the new-comers 
were men of a turbulent and undesirable class, being 
for the most part deserters from vessels on the coast. 
During the troubles of 1836-8, the government had 
been unable to enforce the restrictions required by the 
laws; indeed. Governor Alvarado could not consist- 
ently oppress a class of men who had done so much 
to put him in power, even if he could afford to make 
enemies of any in those troublous times. Many who 
exercised a sort of leadership over the foreigners were 
not satisfied with the results of the revolution, or with 
their failure to make of California another Texas; 
while Texan history served also on the other hand as 
a v/arning to the Californian authorities. The for- 
eigners, lawless and boisterous by nature and educa- 
tion, regarding all Spaniards as of an inferior and 
despicable race, took advantage of existing circum- 
stances to become not only independent in their actions 
and annoyingly familiar in manner,^ but loud, boast- 

' 'I was insulted,' said Alvarado to Alfred Robinson, Life in CaZ., 179-S4, 
'at every turn by the drunken followers of Graham; and when walking in the 
garden, they would come to its wall and call to me in terms of the greatest 
familiai-ity: "Ho! Bautista, come here, I want to speak to you;" Bautista 
here, Bautista there, and Bautista everywhere.' Anyone familiar with the 
spirit of English and American sojourners in a foreign land, and with their 
opinions of all that is Spanish since the days of Sir Francis Drake, may easily 
imagine the airs put on by these fellows. Farnham, Life in C'al., GO, etc., 
writes as follows: 'Alvarado became suspicious of the foreigners who had 
aided him in the revolution, and sought every means of annoying them. They 
miglit depose him as tbey had done Echeandia. And if vengeance were .always 
a certain consequent of injustice, he reasoned well. The vagabond had prom- 
ised, in the day of his need, to bestow lands on those who had saved his neck 
and raised him to power. This he found it convenient to forget. Like 
Spaniards of all ages and countries, after having been well served by his 
friends, ho rewarded them with the most heartless ingratitude.' 'Another 
cause of the general feeling against the Americans and Britons in California 
was the fact that the sefioritas, the dear ladies, in the plenitude of their taste 
and sympathy for foreigners, preferred them as husbands. Hence Jos(5 Castro 
was heard to declare a little before the arrest, that such indignities coiild not 
be borne by Castilian blood; " for a Californian cavaliero cannot woo a seiio- 
rita if opposed in his suit by an American sailor, and these heretics must be 
cleared from the land." Such were the causes operating to arouse the wrath 
and ripen the patriotism of the Califoraiaus. The vengeance of baffled gal- 


fill, and even threatening in their talk. These circum- 
stances were non-interference in the matter of pass- 
ports, the aid some of them had rendered to Alvarado, 
their increasing number and that of their natural 
allies the trappers of the interior, the well known dis- 
sensions between the Californian leaders, the danger 
of new revolts in the south, and the threatening atti- 
tude of the Indians in different parts of the depart- 
ment; and the same circumstances which made the 
foreigners bold and impudent rendered the Califor- 
nians timid. Alvarado knew that the southern oppo- 
sition to his rule was not extinct. He was beginning 
to regard Vallejo as a new and formidable foe in the 
north ; and the latter had constantly insisted that dan- 
ger, exaggerated perhaps in the interest of liis military 
schemes, was impending from foreign encroachments. 
The governor and others knew that the presence of 
these lawless, uncontrollable strangers was not desira- 
ble. It was feared, and with much reason, that they 
would either seize upon a favorable opportunity to take 
possession of the country with aid from outside, or 
that the}' might at least enable some one of the hostile 
factions to overthi-ow the administration and plunge 
the country again into civil strife. The fear was real 
and wide-spread ; but under such circumstances it is not 
unlikely that undue importance was attached to pai-- 
ticular rumors, nor impossible that in certain quarters 
pretexts were even sought for ending the suspense by 
bringing the matter to an early issue. 

lautry bit at the ear of Capt. Josi5 Castro; the fear of being brought to justice 
by Graham taggeil at the li\-cr of Alvarado; aud love, the keenest, .and hate, 
the bitterest, in a soul the smallest that '(vas ever entitled to the breath of 
life, buniiihed the little black eyes and inflamed the little thin nose of ono 
Corpoial Piuto. These were the worthies w-ho projected the onslaught on tho 
forci.'^'i]' rs. Their plan of operations was tho shrewdest one ever concocted 
iu California.' I give more space to Farnhanvs ravings than they would 
otherwise deserve, because he was in Cal. at the time, and had better oppor- 
tunities to leai-n the truth respecting the Graham aQair than about other 
matters whieli he attempts to treat. Ilis viev.s arc echoed by Wilkes, Nar- 
rative, V. 180, etc., by Hastings, Emigrant Guide, 118, etc., and by some 
others. There is, however, nothing to show any oppression or treachery in 
the treatment, or any general spiiit of hatred or jealousy in the feelings of 
Califomians toward foreigners in these years. There was fear, and it was 
well founded. 


At the end of March or early in April 1840 Padre 
Suarez del Real of San Carlos warned Alvarado in a 
letter of an intended uprising of American residents, 
subsequently stating that the plot was revealed at the 
confessional by a foreigner supposed to be at the 
point of death, and claiming for that reason exemption 
from being obliged to make a legal declaration on the 
subject.^ On April 4th the subject came up before 
the junta. Gonzalez remarked that expressions used 
by certain foreigners in places of public resort seemed 
to show that a plot was to be feared ; whereupon the 
governor stated that he had knowledge of such a plot, 
and that while his information was of such a nature 
that it could not be made public, the conspirators were 
under surveillance, and their plans would not be per- 
mitted to succeed.* Soon William R. Garner con- 
firmed the existence of revolutionary schemes, iu 
which he himself had been involved apparentl}^, and 
denounced Isaac Graham as chief of the conspirators. 
It is not clear whether Garner gave his testimony 
voluntarily to favor Alvarado and Castro, to prevent 
an outbreak, or to gratify some personal dislike, or 
was induced to confess by stratagem or threats on the 
pai^t of Castro. There are indications that he was 
entrapped by a trick into making a partial revelation, 
and that he made an effort to warn the foreigners. 
There is little or no foundation for the extravagant 
charges made against him by the latter in their anger.* 

^The padre's letter was sent by Alvarado to the min. of the int., with a 
communication of April 22d. Dcpt. liec. , MS. , xi. 07. According to yerraao, 
Apuntes, Md., 03-4; Torre, Remin., MS., 87-9; and Jleadows, Gmhnn 
Affair, MS., 9-12, the dying man was generally believed to be one Tomas— 
probably Tomlinson, called ' Tom the Napper,' according to Meadows —whoso 
wife was Jesus Bemal. Mrs Ord, Ocurrencias, MS., 12.'5-^, and others men- 
tion the confession without giving names. In Mexico, Mem. de Guerra, 1S41, 
p. 33, it is said that the plot of a puuado de adivnedizos to raise the standard 
of revolt ' contra la integridad del territorio nacional ' was discovered by a 
happy accident, the conspirators being brought to trial that they might ' suf- 
fer t!ie punishment merited by their foolish temerity.' Mrs Ord states that 
she heard of the plot from her liusband Jimeno before the an-ests were made. 

'April 4th, session of the junta. Ly. lice, MS., iii. 64-5. 

* In aU the contemporary documents Garner's confession is alluded to as 
the chief support of the charges, but no explanation is given of the manner in 
which the confession was obtained; nor is the testimony extant except in its 


AVliile the alleged conspiracy rested mainly on the 
statements of Padre Real and Garner, both probably 
somewhat general in their nature, there were other 
rumors and theories afloat, some of which have sur- 
vived. The best known is that which represents the 
trouble as having originated from a horse-race. Gra- 
ham had a fine horse, with which he was wont to win 
the Californians' money; and not only did this excite 

general purport. Est^van de la Torre, Remin. , MS. , 87-9, tells us that Cas- 
tro, with the aid of Felipe Butron, attempted to enlist Garner in a scheme he 
pretended to have formed against Alvarado, with a view to declare California 
independent. Garner fell into the trap, and admitted that he, with (Jraham 
and otiiers, had already formed a similar plan, and would gladly cooperate 
with Castro. This is confinned by Florencio Serrano, Apunles, MS., G4-5. 
Osio, IJist. CaL, MS., 408-9, thinks Garner's testimony was elicited by 
threats of shooting him. Alvarado, Vallejo, and other Californiajis in their 
later statements imply that Gamer gave his testimony voluntarily to prevent 
trouble, being friendly to the CaUfornian leaders, and being by them regarded 
as a reliable man. Famham, Wilke;, and Hastings, followed by Robinson, 
C'al. Gold Region, 61-2, and others, represent that Gamer was simply a tool 
paid to perjure himself. In Graham's statement presented by Farnham he 
says, 'Jose Castro, Bicenta Contrine (?), Ankel Castro, and a runaway Botany 
Bay English convict by the name of Garner, a vile fellow, and an enemy of 
mine because the foi-eigners would not elect him their captain, passed and re- 
passed my house several times, and conversed together in low tones. I 
stopped Jos<5 Castro and asked him what was the matter. He replied that he 
was going to march against Viego (Vallejo) at iS. Francisco, to depose him 
from the command. His two companions made the same assertion. I knew 
tliat Alvarado was afraid of Viego, and that Castro was ambitious for his place; 
and for these reasons I partly concluded that they spoke the truth. Later 
ill the clay the vagabond Gamer called at my house, aud having drunk freely 
of whiskey, became rather boisterous, and said significantly that the time of 
some people would be short; that Josd Castro had orders from the gov- 
ernor to drive the foreigners out of Cal. , or to dispose of them in some other 
way. He boasted that he himself should have a pleasant participation in the 
business. I had heard the same threat before, but it resulted in nothing. 
Believing, therefore, that Garner's words jiroceeded from the whiskey he had 
drunk rather than the truth, I left him in the yard and went to bed.' It 
was that night that he was arrested. Farnham's Life, 70-1. Writing of the 
later trial, Favnliam, Id., p. 90, says: 'A Botany Bay convict by the name of 
Garni I- i\ms callcil in evidence on behalf "of the government. His testimony 
rcniijvcd :ill linu'oriug doubts. He established the unqualified guilt of .nil. 
Gr.ili.-.m, ill particular, who had been preferred over him as commander of the 
forciyu rillemeu in Ahnnl-'s ivvnlution, and whom he had previously at- 
tcm|itcd to kill, he cl ' ' . ■ fiirmed a scheme of ambition, which, had 

it not been discoverri] i i i • .lug the grave of every Spaniard in Cali- 

fornia! This man's !< ;i'i;mi,\ m:,, written out and signed by his murderous 
hand. It may be in tinu- a blister on his perjured soul.' It is certain that 
Gamer gave no such formal testimony at the trial, and that Farnham's state- 
ment is a falsehood. Graliam's account of Garner's coming to his house and 
talking as he did, since he was byno means a fool, would indicate a desire on 
his part to ^'In . ;i w a. miu ; and Meadows states that Garner did visit Graham, 
acting mysic I I i •■\:vj^ that he could not tell the reason of his visit 

andactions, 1., ' , t : n,-', 'Ifyouhearof my falling from my horse be- 

tween here ai a I s. ,laaa, In^.k outfor yourselves.' 


ill feeling against him, but, as Robinson tells us, a 
contract for a new contest with a high-mettled racer 
from San Diego, a document signed by Graham and 
another American, was "construed into a plan for 
overturning the government."^ Another motive as- 
cribed to Alvarado in his course against the foreigners 
was a desire to rid himself of Graham's familiarities, 
interference, and importunities already alluded to, 
though b}^ those who take this view the importunities 
are classified as 'demands for justice.' Sure it is 
that Graham, whether a conspirator or not, and not- 
withstanding the eulogies that have been heaped upon 
him, was a rough and disagreeable fellow, on getting 
rid of whom California or any other community might 
well congratulate itself. He was a leading spirit 
among a crowd of turbulent and reckless men, himself 
as wild and unprincipled as the worst, with no good 
qualities save personal bravery and perhaps a measure 
of the trappers' prodigal generosity.* 

^ 'As ridiculous as this may appear to the reader, nevertheless it is a fact 
to which I can testify from information I receiyed on the spot shortly after its 
occurrence.' Robinson's Life in Cat., 180. Faruham says 'Graham's annual 
challenge for the spring races in 1840 was easily construed into a disguised 
attempt to gather his friends for the purpose of overthrowing Alvarado's 
go\ernment.' Life in Cal., C7-S. 

^ This, however, is the way Famham puts it : 'A bold, open-handed man, 
never concealing for an instant either his love or hatred, but with the frank- 
ness and generosity of those great souls, rough-hewn but majestically honest, 
who belong to the valley states, he told the governor his sius from time to 
time, and demanded in the authoritative tone of an elder and affectionate 
brother, that he should redeem his pledges. The good old man did not 
remember that a Spaniard would have lost his nationality had he done so. A 
Spaniard tell the truth! A Spaniard ever grateful for ser\ ices rendered him! 
He should have knocked at the tombs of Columbus and Cortus, and every 
other man who ever served that contemptible race. He asked for justice, 
and received — what we shall presently sec. ' To show Graham's opinion of a 
Spaniard, Wood, Wandering Sketches, 228-30, asked him in 1844 if he was 
going to a party given by Gov. Micheltorena. ' What, I! no, indeed! a corral 
is not big enough to hold me and one of them.' Weeks, llemin., MS., 103-7, 
says Graham was the worst of the foreigners, and the cause of all the troubles 
by his boastful, quarrelsome spirit. 'He thought he could jilay hell and 
turn up jack.' Came to California with the reputation of bully and assassin. 
Alvarado, Hist. Cal., MS., iii. IGO. An American, later a prominent citizen 
of California, says of Graham in New Mexico, that he 'was noted for being a 
bummer, a blow-hard, and a notorious liar, without an atom of honesty in 
his composition. ' He had to leave Tennessee for crimes committed there. 
Graham and Sutter, MS., 1-2. I have before me an undated document (of 
184o or 1846) signed by 20 citizens, only one of Spanish blood, denouncing 


There are two other theories respecting the origin 
of the movement that merit passing notice. One is 
that favored by Dr Marsh, one of the foreigners ai'- 
rested, namely, that Castro, desiring Vallejo's place, 
believed that in the existing state of feeling on the 
Texan reverses, to exile the foreigners would be the 
surest way to gain favor in Mexico and thereby gain 
his point. Alvarado was easily persuaded to favor 
the scheme.'^ The other theory is that the leading 
members of the foreign colony, including Spencc, Lar- 
kin, and others who had been long in the country, 
were among the chief promoters of the movement. 
It is charged by Morris and others that these men 
acted with a view to get rid of Graham and others as 
business rivals, to gratify certain personal prejudices, 
and to discourage further increase in the foreign pop- 
ulation. I impute no such motives to those men, but 
suppose rather that they approved Alvarado's policy 
more or less fully as best for the country. There are 
indications that Spence favored the movement, that 
Larkin made but slight effort at least to prevent it, 
and that it was not opposed to any considerable ex- 
tent by the better class of foreigners.^ 

Graliam as a breaker of the peace, corrupter of morals, quarrelsome, revolu- 
tionary, duellist, assassin, and adulterer. Doc. Hist. Cat., MS., iii. 276. 

' il/fir.i/i's Letter to Com. Jones, MS., p. 10-13. There arc several vague 
allusions by different witnesses to a connection between this aifair and the 
quarrel v.ith Vallcjo. The latter says, however, Hint. Cat., MS., iv. 1"27-S, 
that although some people tried to uialio out that the aifair was designed as a 
blow against him. be never attached much importance to that version. Va- 
llcjo claims that, having been absent on an Indian campaign, ho did not know 
much about the affair until it was all over; but we shall see that ho knew 
more of it than he is disposed to admit. 

^In 1847 Larkin was severely criticised by foes in eastern papers for his 
conduct throughout this affair, and ho obtained from Ex-gov. Alvarado a for- 
mal statement that ho (Larkin) had not known of the arrest in advance, that 
bo tried as a private individual unsuccessfully to learn Alvarado's motives, 
and that ho did much to aid the prisoners both before and after their exile. 
Lnrkhi's Dor., MS., v. D'i-."?. All this is true enough. Larkin's conduct in 
tho affair w,!-! ;.r ,;. .,t m.l praiseworthy; yet he could not be persuaded to 
adopt the i-.i: ; m,, i mi view, and I have no doubt fully approved Alva- 
rado's actidii .:. .ii 11), p, ;;> far as most of the exiles were concerned. Mor- 
rh' Diary of. I i r.r.ii Ma.i. ur an Account of the Graham Affair of ISJfi, MS. 
Albert F. Morris was an Englishman, and one of the prisoners sent to S. Bias, 
of whom I sliall have more to say later. His MS. diary, or autobiography, 
was in my possession for a time alxjut 1870 — I have lost tho memorandum 


Whether Graham and his companions were really 
engaged in any definite plots of revolt in 1840 must 
remain a matter of doubt. Evidence of such plots 
at the time in a legal sense was weak; and now the 
evidence before us — though somewhat resembling 
that in favor of him who had ten witnesses that had 
not seen him steal a sheep against one who did see 
the act — is on its face strong against the existence of 
any such plots. The accused protested to a man 
their innocence, and naturally did not recant in later 
years when seeking damages. Other foreigners, and 
most Californians, state that they knew nothing of 
any conspiracy; and writers, almost without excep- 
tion, have declared the charges unfounded." Had 

showing under what circumstances — and this is a resume, with many literal 
quotations made by Walter M. Fisher at that time in 42 closely written 
pages. It is a narrative of great originality, interest, and importance. The 
author adopts the sobriquet of 'crazy man' from the fact that he was accused 
of insanity by somebody not named, against whom he is very bitter. He 
seems to have been an eccentric character, but a man of considerable ability. 
He is severe against the older foreign residents, whom he denounces as traitors 
and apostates, more Spanish than the Spaniards, gambling and 'fandangoing' 
with the Californians to gain their favor, and plotting for the expulsion of 
later comers, whose influence with the natives they feared. He avoids giving 
names, but points clearly at Larkin among others. Hartnell was another 
object of his wrath, and apparently one of the two who had testified in court 
to his insanity. He claims to have had proofs that the arrest of himself and 
companions was ordered by Alvarado at the persuasion of these foreigners. 
Ho states that other foreigners aided personally in the arrests, and that still 
others had themselves aiTCStcd as a more form to avoid the possible vengeance of 
the victims. John Chamberlain, Memoirs, MS. , 5-14, also says Larkin, Spence, 
and Garner were in tlio jilot with Alvarado and Castro. ^Viggins, IteminU. , MS., 
5-G, alludes to a clique of traders in Monterey who were jealous of Graham and 
others, and wished to drive them from the country. A notice in the ;M exican pa- 
pers, dated June 20, 1S40, and which I lind in jVifcs' i?cf/. , Iviii. 371, has the fol- 
lowing: 'According to letters which we have before us from Est<5van ilunras 
and David ]•). Spence, the former a Spaniard and the latter a Scotchman, both 
respectable and faithful suljjeets residing near the port of Monterey, we learn 
that the Y.ankces, after holding several meetings at Natividad, where is a dis- 
tillery, detcnnmed to take possession of that beautiful and fertile country 
which the New Orleans promoters of the Texan insurrection have justly styled 
the paradise of America.' On Jan. 13, 1841, F. D. Atherton writes from 
V.alparaiso to Larkin: 'How much was Alvarado influenced by Spence in the 
affair? A good deal, I am afraid.' Larldn'-i Doc.,}>i'&.,\.\l8. Inlater years 
Larkin pronounced the affair an outrage; but at the time he made no protests. 
' Of the men who wore sent away we have definite narratives from only 
Graham (in Farnham's work), Morris, and Meadov/s. Of those arrested but 
not sent away there arc formal statements from John Marsh, John Chamber- 
lain, James Weeks, Job Dye, Charles Bro^vn, Henry Bee, and an anonymous 
writer in the Sla Cruz Senlinel of Feb.-April 1SG9. There is also quite a 
mass of indirect testimony from tliese men through diflerent sources. None 


there been a veritable project of revolt formed and 
discussed by half a dozen men, as charged by Garner, 
I see no reason to suppose that the evidence would 
present any other than its present aspect; yet I ex- 
press no opinion on this particular point. In a gen- 
eral Avay, I do not deem it likely that the successful 
revolt at Sonoma in 1846 was the first one plotted 
in California by foreigners; and I have no doubt 
that Graham and the crowd that frequented his dis- 
tillery only awaited an opportunty to control tho 
country. At any rate, they formed a turbulent and 
undesirable element of the population, and they were 
feared with reason by the Californians. Alvarado 
believed they were plotting mischief, and determined 
to set rid of them. And now, after savincr so much 

admit any knowledge of a conspiracy. Wm H. Davis, GUmpxes, MS., 32-S, 
one of those aiTestcd at S. F:, gives a good general account of the afiair. 
He thinks there -nas no definitely arranged plot, but that Alvarado was in- 
fluenced partly by fears and current rumors, and also by orders from Mexico 
requiring strict precautions. He erroneously represents the Americans r.s 
having been the only ones arrested, except in a few cases by mistake, and 
falls into many errors in details. 

Farnham and Alfred Robinson were in California at the time, and express 
the opinion that there was no plot. Capt. Clifford of the Una wrote from 
Vera Cruz to the same effect in 1S40, getting his information probably 
from Farnham. Niks' Reg., Iviii. 371. Several versions went by the Don 
Quixote to the Hawaiian Islands, and were published in the Ilonulnlu Poly- 
nesian of June '20, 1S40. One says: ' Government had been informed that 
about 20 foreigners had the intention of taking the country, and by ques- 
tioning some v.ho were known to have been at variance with some others for 
a considerable time, trying to force them out of the country, they succeeded 
in proving the facts sought after in a manner satisfactory to themselves, and 
to the astonishment of the people, both foreigners .ind natives.' Another has 
it that ' Garner took advantage of a monient'whcn Graham was incensed at 
the conduct of Alvarado, to consummate his revenge by working upon the 
injured feelings of Graham until he wrung from him sufficient to cause his 
sul)sequcnt danger and imprisonment.' And finally the editor says: 'Wo 
learn verbally that many of the men imprisoned were of a bad character and 
extremely obnoxious to tho native inhabitants, and that this \-iolence waS 
committed to get them out of the country.' jMofras, Explor., i. 304-6, be- 
lieves that there was a plan to declaie Cal. independent iu the interest of the 
U. S. He is followed by Gleeson, Hist. Caih. Vhiircli, ii. 100. Of the Cali- 
fornians, Oslo, Alvarado, Hist. Cal., MS., v. 2-13; Castro, Selacion, MS., 
53-7, 74-7, and Pinto, Apuut., MS., r)l-2, 04, arc sure that there was a con- 
spiracy, Pinto affirming that it was confessed to him and his relatives in 
later years by several different persons. Vallejo, JJist. Cai, MS., iv. 122- 
42, ij doubtful (ibout the plot, though at the time ho had no such doubts. 
Pio Pico, Jlist. Cal., MS., S7, Juan Dandini, Hist. Cal., MS., 99, Coronel, 
Cosa.i lie Cal., MS., SO, and Galiiido, Aputilr.'t, MS., 44-5, do not believe 
that the danger existed beyond tho imagination of Alvarado and Castio. 


about wliy it was done, it is time to tell what was 
done, and when and how. 

It was on the 4 th of April that the danger was dis- 
cussed in a meeting of the junta.'" Next day the gov- 
ernor apprised Vallejo that a plot had been formed by 
the foreigners, largely reenforced of late by deserters 
from vessels on the coast, to commit murders, robberies, 
and other horrible crimes. The leaders were not yet 
known, but prompt action being necessary, he had, after 
consulting the junta, directed Castro to raise a force 
and arrest all foreigners from Monterey to San Fran- 
cisco who had entered the country unlawfully, except 
such as were married to native women, or had some 
well known and honorable occupation. Similar arrests 
were to be made in the south. Civil authorities had 
been ordered and military requested to aid in carry- 
ing out this measure of self-protection. Castro had 
been directed to act in concert with Vallejo, who was 
requested to cooperate in making the arrests; to char- 
ter a vessel at San Francisco, on which the prisoners 
might be shipped away to be put at the disposal of the 
general government; to furnish a military guard for 
the voyage; and to come in person to the capital, if 
possible." A copy of this communication was sent on 
the 7th to various officials north and south, with a 
postscript stating that new information had been ob- 
tained before the conspirators had been able to unite, 
and that two parties of them had been attacked by 
Castro, who with the loss of a single man had captured 
those under the chief conspirator, Isaac Graham, ca- 

^"Leg. Bee, MS., iii. 61-5. Tlie nature of the discussion has already been 

"April 5, 1S40, A. to V., in Vallejo, Doc, MS., xiv. 52; Dept. Si. Pap., 
MS., viii. 139-40. Aguirrc's vessel was suggested; stores were to bo obtained 
from the missions; and Castro would tell many things that could not bo put 
on paper. Ajiril Gth, Castro to Covarrubias, directing him to go to S. JosiJ, 
and make arrangements with the justice of the peace for the arrest of all for- 
eigners. Has sent a similar notice to Natividad. Dept. St. Pap., S. Josd, MS., 
V. 32. 


2ntan de rijleros.^^ Similar information was imparted 
to the junta.^^ 

Thus Garner's revelation must have been made April 
5th or 6th, and the arrest of Graham and his compan- 
ions at Natividad was made early in the morning of 
the 7th. By the 11th thirty-nine foreigners had been 
secured," though the work was not yet complete. The 
measure was planned and executed with more skill 
and promptness than it was customary to use in Cali- 
fornia. Meanwhile Vallejo, willing to forget his griev- 
ances for a time, or hoping that the danger so often 
predicted by himself would bring Alvarado to his 
senses, engaged heartily in the movement, and did all 
that was asked of him, issuing orders, forwarding arms, 
and finally — after taking steps to watch the trappers 
and other foreigners on the Sacramento, whom he 
suspected of complicity in the plot — going in person to 
the capital.^' He also ordered Jose Antonio Aguirre 
to put at the disposition of the government his bark the 
Joven Guipuzcoana, or Maid of Guipuzcoa, then lying 
at anchor at Yerba Buena, which was at once made 
ready for a voyage under Captain John Snook. ^* 

'-April 7th, gov. to coinand.antes and prefects. Doc. Hht. Cal., MS., iv. 
10, 52-0; £>rpt. I!ec., MS., xi. 0-10; Guerra, Dof., MS., ii. lS-22; the last 
copy without the postscript. The single man lost must always reiualn a mys- 

''April 9th. Leg. Bee, MS., iii. 64^5. Ko mention is made, however, of 
the loss of a man. 

"April nth, Com. Flores at Monterey to the com. gen. Vcdiejo, Doc, MS., 
Lx. IDS. Prefect to justice at Sta Cruz. Sla Cruz, Arch., MS., 29. 

'^ April 9;h, V. at Sonoma to Alvarado, Castro, and com. at S. Jos^. Va- 
llrjo. Doc, M.S., ix. 107, 269; xiv. IS; Dept. Si. r,ip., MS., v. 2-7. The spirit 
of his communications shows no doubt of the reality of the danger, and no disap- 
l)roval of A.'s policy. It would seem that a party was sent under Ldzaro Pciia 
tj arrest certain foreigners north of the bay, but there is no other evidence 
that any arrests were made in that region. There was trouble with the sol- 
diers and Indians at Sonoma that delayed V.'.s departure until April IGth, at 
least. He reached Monterey before April 2jth. 

'"April nth, V. to Aguirre. Vallejo, Doc. MS., ix. 110; Depl. St. Pap., 
MS., v. 4. April IGth, order to capt. of the port at S. F. to procure a crew 
for the bark. She was intended to sail for Acapulco. Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 
113. Tlic sum paid for the charter of the vessel according to documents of 
later date was cither §4,000 or S7,C00, it is not clear wliich. Dept. Jtec, MS., 
xi. Gl, 67-8; Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Com. and TreoA., MS., iv. 48, 54. The ves- 
sel was formerly the AV/er inWams of 203 tons, which under Capt. .1. Stevens 
arrived at Sta B. from lioston Fob. Sth of this same year. In March she was 


Ncitliing appears in the records of the time — I shall 
present information from other sources a little later- 
respecting proceedings at Monterey in connection with 
the prisoners from the time of the first arrest on April 
7th to tlie 22d, when Alvarado dated his report to 
the minister of the interior, and his instructions to 
Castro, wlio with an escort of fifteen or twenty men 
was to guard the prisoners on the voyage to San 
Bias." On the 23d the governor informed the junta 
that his efforts to insure the public peace had been 
successful and the foreigners had been embarked. The 
Gidpuzcoana sailed from Monterey on April 24th, 
though the date of Vallejo's despatches to the minister 
of war is April 25th.^* A few days later Alvarado is- 

Bold to Aguirre, and put under the Mexican flag, her name being changed. 
Aguine had to go to S. Bias to obtain a legal register. Documents of sale and 
change of flag in VuVejo, Doc, MS., ix. 41, G'J, 73, 77, SO. Some of the lio/jer 
Williams' own men seem to have been among the eiciles. The editor of the 
.S'to Cruz Sentinel, April 17. 1SG9 says the vessel finally settled on the mud 
flats of the Sacramento, and vras torn to pieces by Cliinamcn in ISG-l. 

•'April 22, 1S40. A. to rain, of int. The report is but a brief statement 
that a private letter announced a conspiracy; Prefect Castro was ordered to 
use energetic measures; a force of trusted citizens was organized; all foreign- 
ers who had entered Cal. illegally and were not married had been arrested to 
the number of GO; an accomplice revealed the plot to Castro; the judge of 1st 
instance investigated the matter; 45 of the prisoners were embarked; and 
Castro with a force would guard them, and report details to the govt. Dept. 
Hlv., MS., xi. G7-8. Castro's instructions required him to touch at Sta 
Bdrbara, take on board the jirisoners there, and sail at once for S. Bias, where 
the prisoners were to be landed and taken with the aid of the authorities to 
Topic, whence Castro was to proceed to Mexico and report fully, losing no 
time in getting ready to return. He was also to report on the general con- 
dition of the country, and work with Castillero to obtain the military aid so 
much needed. Alvarado, Instrucciones al Preficto Caatro para su viarje d 
Mexico con los priaioneros extranyeros, IS40, MS. April 22d, Capt. J. M. 
Covarrubias and Alf. Victor Linares, with a sergt and 11 men from the Mon- 
terey company of auxiliai'ics, were ordered to accompany Castro. Dept. St. 
Pap., Ben. Mil., MS., Ixxxiii. 2; but Pinto, Apunl., MS., 53, says that 
the ofScers that went were Covarrubias, Lieut Francisco Soto, Alf. Kafacl 
Pinto {the writer), Joaquin de la Torre, and Sergt Jesus Soto, with 20 men. 
April 22d, $1,900 ordered paid to Castro as comisionado to Mexico. Dept. St. 
P'<p., Ben. Com. ami Treus., MS., iv. 52. April 24th, passport from Vallejo 
to Castro. Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 117. 

'^iVpril 23d, A. to the junta. Leg. Rec, MS., iii. 65. Vallejo, Injormes 
al Ministro de Gueri-a -lohrc la siihhvacion de Graham y otrns extranrjcros, 35 de 
A bril, ISJfO, J\IS. These despatches add nothing in detail to Al varado's report, 
but are largely devoted to a repetition of his oft-repeated demands for aid, 
using the late trouble as a strong argument. He draws on his imagination 
somewhat in stating that the chief aim of the late conspiracy was to get pos- 
session of S. F. as a key to the whole country. He compliments Castro and 
his men for their valuable services, and asks to be relieved of his office that 


sued a printed proclamation, in wliich lie informed bis 
fellow-citizens how " a sordid and venal faction, got- 
ten up by some ungrateful foreigners whom you have 
welcomed to your hospitable soil, attempted to strip 
us of the most precious treasure, country and life, de- 
siring to sacrifice to their unmeasured ambition tlie 
first authorkies of the country"! He congratulated 
all on their escape, and advised the people to maintain 
the most friendly relations with foreigners legally in 
California.^' Orders were issued on the disposition to 
be made of property left by Graham, and arms be- 
longing to others of the exiles;-" and then all was 
quiet for a time at the capital. 

In the south as well as in the north the governor's 
orders had been carried into execution, and twenty 
foreign prisoners had been collected at Santa Barbara, 
none being arrested, however, who could show papers 
to account for their presence.'' The sub-prefect, 

ho may devote all his energies to the northern frontier. April 20th, Com. 
Sanchez of S. F. thanks providence that the vile designs of ungrateful for- 
eigners have been frustrated. /(/., ix. 132. 

^^ Alvarado,\_Procltm I il !\ . ' /■ ■ ' /■ - 'u-''' r^^lMial del Departamenio de 
las Cali/ornias; A sus hdbitii/' ,aiigfroi<]. Imprcnta del 

Gobierno (1S40), in Earl:.' i . ,/ J)oc., MS., no. 15; 

Arch. Arzob., MS., v. pt ii. l'.;^: i ' . /' . M-.. xiv. 4S; Bandini, Doc. , 
MS., 44. 

™May 2d, gov. to justice of S. Juan. Let the foreigner Enrique (Henry 
Naile?) realize from the effects of Graham and leave the republic w-ithin two 
mouths. Lists; and accounts of all foreigners must be sent in. Depl. Jier., MS., 
xi, I-' I:.; i ' ,' ', Doc, MS., xxxiii. 6S. S.'.me date, Jimeno to justice of 
]; , 1-^. .Juan. Arras of the foreigners sent away to bo collected 

a ; : I- red. Sta Cruz, Arch., MS., 30; Gomez, Doc, MS., 45. 

y.^y 1 -uli, jii' J -f S. Jose to gov.'s sec. Has in deposit some of the arrested 
foreigner^' property, and their creditors wish to taUc legal steps to get tlieir 
pay from this deposit. Judge ivishes to save his responsibility. S. Jos^, ArcJi., 
MS., iii. 33. 

" April 13th, Guerra y Noriega to gov. Has aided the sub prefect to 
arrest all resident foreigners. Dejjt. St. Pap., MS., v. 6. April 21st, all 
prisoners at Angeles to be sent to Sta B. under guard. Id., Aug., xi. 117. 
April 23d, sub-prefect to prefect. Order of arrest executed. W.,iv. 84. April 
2Uh, prefect of Angeles to gov. 10 forci t:i>v^ nrv.-tf 1 licrc; some hero 
several vears, but none have papers; eomi>! ■; i - ' ^. Diego and Sta 
B. l)rpt.St.Pap.,Den.Pref.yJiizg.,MS.,\i'- \ ! I'l ii, listof II men 
u;ider aiTcst: Jas Door, Wm Lumsdale (Luni. > n (. i ■ (X.ath. ?) Pryor, 
"Win W:.ld, ililton White, Jacques Dufri, Xuin Joeks, Win Green, Jeflroy 
Brown, John Auntroy, and Albert Williams. Id., U7-S. Johnson the black- 
smith escaped. Id., Aua., iv. 70-4. May 12th, sub-prefect says 20 prisoners, 
14 from Angeles and 6 from Sta B., had been delivered to Castro, /d., Ben., 


Raimiinclo Carrillo, got himself into some trouble in 
connection with the arrests, being accused of speaking 
too freely when strict secrecy was enjoined, a charge 
which he earnestly denied.^^ The Guvpuzcoana arrived 
May 4th, though Farnham puts the date a week ear- 
lier, and five at least of the southern prisoners were 
added to the number already on board the vessel, 
though eight of those deemed least criminal were left 
behind for want of room and shackles.*^^ The exile- 
laden bark sailed on the 8th, and Castro carried with 
him a grandiloquent congratulatory address of certain 
patriotic Barbarenos.^* Troops and exiles were landed 
at San Bias on or about May IGth; and early in Sep- 
tember the Guipuzcoana was back in California, with 
news that the foreigners were in prison at Tepic, 
Avhile Castro, with Covarrubias and Soto, had gone to 

Having thus presented a simple narrative of facts 
as drawn from archive records, I have now to give 
further information, founded more or less directly on 
the testimony of men concerned in the Graham affair. 
The victims and their friends have accused the Cali- 
fornians, not onl_y of having exiled them without 
cause, but of cruelty at the time of the arrest, during 
their confinement, and on the voyage to San Bias. 
These charges are, I believe, exaggerated, though from 
the nature of the case they cannot be entirely dis- 
proved. In considering tlie evidence to be offered, 
the reader should bear in mind the character of the 

iii. 5. June 23d, James Orbell, Thos Ridington, and Robt Robertson to be 
arrested at S. Diego. Id., Ang., i. 1. 

^- Aug. 28, 18-10, Carrillo to prefect in defence of liiraself, and other com- 
munications. Dcpt. St. Pap., Ben. Pref. y Jiizij., MS., iii. 6-8; Id., Jvg., 
xii. .33-7; Los Antjeks, Arch., MS., i. 210-18. 

^ May 7th, Castro to Guerra., in Oiierra, Doc, MS., v. 191-2. Those left 
were to leave Cal. when an opportunity shouUl occur. 

^'May 8th, signed by the Cotas, Oiivcras, and others. Dcpt. St. Pap., 
MS., V. 7. This proclamation, signed by 'seven citizens of note, 'is partially 
translated in Monterey Co. Hist., 34-5. An-ival and departure of the vessel 
noted in Melius' Diary, MS., 4. 

'''^ Sept. 6th. sub-prefect at Sta B. announces arrival of Aguirre's vessel on 
Aug. 31st. Dept. St. Pap., Ang., MS., iii. 27. 


exiles as men whose word could not be trusted, the 
opportunity they had to make their stories agree, their 
interest with a view to indemnity from Mexico in 
maintaining and exaggerating their wrongs, and the 
l^revailing spirit of hatred for everything Mexican, 
which in the following years served as a favorable 
medium for their complaints. The Californians per- 
sonally concerned in making the arrests are in many 
cases not better witnesses than the victims; but the 
general denial of leading Californians should have 
some weight, especially when supported b}^ the fact 
that foreigners of the better class made no opposition 
and offered none but the mildest protests, after the 
matter had assumed a political aspect. 

The Californians had no real military organization, 
and their system of police and prisons was still less 
effective. To arrest and confine a hundred foreigners 
was under the circumstances no slight achievement. 
The arrests were made for the most part by small 
parties of citizens imperfectly armed, with no training 
as policemen, and with a decided fear of their enemy's 
prowess. Undue severity was to be expected in some 
instances, and an occasional gratification of personal 
dislikes might naturally occur. But prompt action 
was demanded, followed by strict precautions; a little 
more attention to kid-glove niceties would have re- 
sulted in the escape of Graham and his company to 
join the trappers of the interior and laugh at the 
efforts of their persecutors. The arrest and exile were, 
in a legal sense, and in the case of certain individuals, 
an outrage; but the reader will, perhaps, after a study 
of the facts, be led to accept with some allowance the 
wholesale charges of inhumanity made against the 
Californian authorities and people. 

Of the men arrested in the north, there were per- 
haps one hundred, tliough it is doubtful if all were 
sent to Montei-ey, and some, I think, were arrested at 
their own request, or with their own consent, in order 
to avoid makino- enemies amonof their foreign ac- 


quaintances. Farnliam names about fifty in addition 
to those sent to San Blas.^^ Alvarado announced to 
the government that sixty men had been arrested and 
that forty-three were to be sent away. Twenty more 
seem to have been delivered to Castro at Santa Bar- 
bara, but eight were not taken for want of room, and 
one, Robert King apparently, of the Monterey men 
was also left here sick. If twelve were put on board 
■ — though only six are known, one of whom, Lumsden, 
was landed at San Diego — there should have been 
fifty-four sent to San Bias. I suppose, however, that 
either there is some mistake about the Santa Bdrbara 
record, or some of the Montere}^ captives were released 
in the south ; and that forty-seven reached San Bias, 
though there may have been a few more. In nation- 
ality they are said to have been about equally divided 
between Englishmen and Americans. I append a list 
of their names.^' 

^^ Farnham'.t Life in Cal., G9-70. The list, -with some orthographical im- 
provements, is as follows, though it contains the names of one or two not 
lilicly to liave been arrested, and one or two others of whom I know nothing; 
and the autlior does not present it as complete: 

Adams, Walter. Gulnac, Wi 

Atterville, Jas. *Hance, Wm. 

*Bee, Henry. Hathaway, H. 

Bcecliay, Capt. (?) Henderson, Wm. 

Bowen, Thos. Herven, Jon. (?) 

Brander, Wm. Horton. (?) 

■"Brown, Chas. Jones, Jerry. 

Burns, Wm. Jones, . 

■"Chamberlain, Jno. Kelley, Jas. 

"Cole, Tlios. "King, Robt. 

"Cooper, Henry. Kiulock, Geo. 

Coppinger, Jas. La Grace, Fran. (?) 

Dickey, Wm. Livermore, Robt. 

"Dye, Job. Lodge, Mich. 

Eagle, F. (?) "Majors, Jos. L. 

■"Farwell, Jas. McKiuley, Jas. 

Ferguson, Geo. McVicker. Hen. 

FuUer, Jon. "Marsh, John. 

The names marked witli a star are also mentioned by other authorities 
than Farnham. Bee adds the name of James Rogers. Morris accuses Job 
Dye of having been in the ranks of the party that arrested him. Wm H. 
Davis says he was arrested at Yerba Buena, with Spear, but released at tlie 

''' On :May 24, 1840, at Tepic, 4G men signed a letter of thanks to Famham 

for his services. Jlonolulu Poli/nesian, Dec. 5, 1840. Naturally all would 

have signed the paper, and Wm Chard is the only one not named wliom there 

ia reason to suppose to have been a member of the party. An official com- 

HiBi. Cai.., 'Vol. IV. 2 

■"Matthews, Wm. 

!Mirayno, Jon. (?) 
*Naile, Henry. 

Sill, Daniel. 

Smith, Jon. 
"Smith, Wm. 
"Spear, Nathan. 

Storm, Peter. 

Thompson, Wm. 
"Tomlinson, Thos. (orA.G.) 
"Trevetliau, Wm. 

"Ware, Win. 

Watson, Andrew. 
"Watson, Ed. 
"Weeks, Wm. 
"West, Mark. 
"Wilson, Alvin. 


It is best to give literally the statements of Graham 
and Morris about the arrests at Natividad on the 
morning of April 7th. The former, after stating that 
he and Naile went to bed in his house while Morris 
and Barton as usual slept in the still-house,^^ sa3-s: 
"We slept quietly until about three o'clock in the 
morning, when I was awakened by the discharge of a 
pistol near my head, the ball of which passed through 
the handkerchief about my I sprang to ni}^ 
feet and jumped in the direction of the villains, when 
they discharged six other pistols so near me that my 
shirt took fire in several places. Fortunately the 
darkness and the trepidation of the cowards prevented 

munication from Mexico also gives the number as 47. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 

97. Morris, Dim-y, MS., insists that there were exactly 46 on the vessel after 

leaving S. Diego. The names of the 47 are as follows — those who are known 

to have returned to Cal. being marked with a star, the nationality being 

given when known, and also the year of arrival for those who came before 


♦Anderson, Wm, Engl. 1S37. *Lewis, Thos, Engl. 1833. 

Armstrong, John. Louzade (?), Jas. 

BaUy, Wm (Engl. 1834?). ♦Lurjis. Jno., Engl. 1838. 

*Barton, Wm, Amer. 1839. McAUi.iter, Robt. Perhaps returned. 

Bloomfield, Wm. *McGlone, Wm, Engl. 1837. 

*Boles (Bowles), Jos., Amer. 1838. Maynard, John, Engl. Perhaps re- 

Brincken, Wilhelm. turned. 

*Carmichael, Lawrence, Engl. 1833. *Meadows, Jas, Engl. 1837. 
*Chapel, Geo., Engl. *Morris, Albert F., Engl. 1834. 

*Chard, Wm, Amer. 1832-3. *0'Brien, Jas, Engl. 1838. 

Christian, John, 1838. *Pearce, Jos (or Jas Peace), 1838. 

*Cooper, ChasH., Amer. Perry, Elijah. 

Daly, ISfathan, Amer. 1834. Pollock, Lewis. 

*Dove, Jas G., Engl. 1833. *Price, John, Engl. 1836. 

Forbes, Wm, Engl. 1835. Prvor, Gabriel. 

*Frazer, Geo., Amer. 1833. Shea, Wm. 

GofiF, Daniel. Thomas, Thos. 

*Graham, Is., Amer. 1833. Vermilion, John. 

Green, Wm. *Waruer, Jolm, Engl. 

Higgins, John, Engl. 1830. AVestlake, Rich. 

Irvin, John. W'hite, Milton. 

Jones, Thos. Whitehouse, Jos. 

Ivnight, Henry. Williams, Albert. 

*Langloi3, Wm, Engl. Williams, Chas. 1839. 

Of these persons, the account in the Poli/nesian of June 20th says 'several 
of them were sailors. Some came here witli passports. Four or five arrived 
here the same month in the Horjer Williams, one being the first mate. (Also 
Grahnm et al.. Petition. ) One half had been in the country for years, and were 
owners of some property, all of wliicli tliey liad to leave behind.' 

''Graham's statement in Funiham'f! I.i/e i» Cal., 71-2. For what preceded, 
that is. Gamer's visit, see p. (i of tliis cliapter. Famham says he obtained 
written statements from 41 of the prisoners, but he prints only two or three. 


their taking good aim; for only one of tlieir sliots 
took effect, and that in my lelt arm. After firing 
they fell back a few paces and commenced reloading 
their pieces. I perceived by the light of their pistols 
that they were too numerous for a single man to con- 
tend with, and determined to escape. But I had 
scarcely got six paces from the door when I was over- 
taken and assailed with heavy blows from their 
swords. These I succeeded in parrying off to such 
an extent that I was not much injured by them. 
Being incensed at last by my successful resistance, 
they grappled with me and threw me down, when an 
ensign by the name of Joaquin Terres (Torre) drew 
his dirk, and saying with an oath that he would let 
out my life, made a thrust at my heart. God saved 
me again. The weapon passing between my body 
and left arm, sunk deep in the ground! and before he 
had an opportunity of repeating his blow they dragged 
me up the hill in the rear of my house, where Jose 
Castro was standing. They called to him, 'Here he 
isl' whereupon Castro rode up and struck me with 
the back of his sword over the head so severely as to 
bring me to the ground; and then ordered four balls 
to be put through me. But this was prevented by a 
faithful Indian in my service, who threw himself on 
me declaring that he would receive the balls in his 
own heart! Uiiwilling to be thwarted, however, in 
their design to destroy me, they next fastened a rope 
to one of my arms and passed it to a man on horse- 
back, who wound it firml}'' around the horn of his 
saddle. Then the rest taking hold of the other arm 
endeavored to haul my shoulders out of joint! But 
the rope broke. Thinking the scoundrels bent on 
killing me in some way, I begged for libert)'' to com- 
mend my soul to God. To this they replied, '-You 
shall never pray till you kneel over your grave.' They 
then conducted me to my house and permitted me to 
put on my pantaloons. While there they asked 
where Mr Morris was. I told them I did not know. 


Then tliey put their lances to my breast and told me 
to call hiui or die. I answered that he had made his 
escape. While I was sayino- this Mr Naile came to 
the house, pale from loss of blood, and vomiting. He 
had had a lance-thrust through his thigh, and a deep 
wound in his leg, which nearly separated the cord of 
tlie heel. They next put Mr Naile and myself in 
double irons, carried us half a mile into the plain, left 
us under guard, and returned to plunder the house. 
After having been absent a short time, they came and 
conducted us back to our rifled home. As soon as 
we arrived there a man by the name of Manuel 
Larias (Larios) approached me with a drawn sword, 
and commanded me to inform him whore my money 
was buried. I told him I had none. He cui'sed me 
and turned away. I had some deposited in the 
ground, but I determined they should never enjoy it. 
After having robbed me of my books and papers, 
■which were all the evidence I had that these very 
scoundrels and others were largely indebted to me, 
and having taken whatever was valuable on my 
premises, and disti'ibuted it among themselves, they 
proceeded to take an inventory of what was left, as if 
it were the whole of my property; and then put me 
on horseback and sent me to this prison. You know 

™In a deposition of Sept. 1, 1S47, at S. Jos^, Graham said that Gamer 
came with Castro, taunted and insulted him after his capture, blamed Castro 
for not having kept his promise to lull him, and as he believed broke open 
trunks in his house, containing $.3,700. Monterey, Areh., !MS., xiv. 1-S. 
Wi;j3ins, remin., MS., 5-C, says 'Graham was always the hero of his owu 
stories, yet he had scars to show.' James Meadows and John Chamberlain 
give a brief version, substantially agreeing with that of Graham. Mofras, 
Glecsou, Alacd Robinson, Hastings, and Willey, Centen. Slcetch o/Sta Cruz, 
p.-escnt a sLill briefer vereion of similar purport. Hastings says AlvaraJo 
' despatched a few of his niggardly hirelings in the dead of night. . .to bring 
the foreirjn. ra before his contemptible excellency. In most instances the first 
notice which the foreigners had of their approach was a volley of musket- 
balls poured in upon tliem through their windows and doors. ' Wilkes and 
Fayette Robinson add that a working-man named Chard (Naile?) was held 
down by two men while a third deliberately cut the tendons of his legs with 
a butclier-knifc, and left him to die! Estovan de la ToiTC, Jiemin., MS., 89- 
90, narrates that when his brother Joaquin called at Graham "s door, the for- 


Morris narrates the adventures of the night as fol- 
lows: "At evening a Spaniard called, said he had lost 
a bundle, and wished to stay all night. There were 
also in the house two foreigners who said they were 
going to San Jose, but disliked to ford the rivers until 
the water had fallen. About nine o'clock we all re- 
tired, Graham and Naile as usual to a small house 
about twenty-five or thirty yards away. Myself, a 
hired man (Barton), and the three travellers retired 
to the still-house. About two o'clock I was awakened 
by a loud knocking at the door. I hailed in English, 
but got no answer; then in Spanish, and was answered 
by Nicolds Alviso, a neighbor. I told him to wait 
till I could dress, light a candle, and let him in. I 
had only time to put on my pantaloons when I heard 
the repoi't of fire-arms at Graham's house, and the 
tramp of horses behind the still-house. Alviso called 
on all to break in my door; I heard the foreigner set 
on shore for mutiny (Garner) calling out to set the 
buildings on fire; and as they came against the door I 
gave them a broadside from my pistol, loaded with a 
ball and the necks of 14 bullets — but it being dark I 
fired rather too high. They returned my fire, and 
wounded me in the leftside with a musket-ball. The 
dastardly cowards then ran, except Alviso. Looking 

eigners began to fire rifles from the houses; and when he forced the door, 
Graham, sitting on the bed dressing, fired a. pistol-shot through his cloak. 
ToiTO then fired both his pistols at Graham's breast, burning him somewhat; but 
the bullets had dropped out into the bolsters during the night's ride. Graham 
fell upon bis bacU, and when Torre rushed upon him with drawn sword, 
called for mercy. Torre replied, ' Tell your men to stop firing and surrender, ' 
wliich was done, and all were made prisoners. This version, supported liy 
SeiTano, may be regarded as that of Joaquin de la Torre, whose character :is 
a witness was about on a par with that of Gi'ahara — that is, very l)ad. Marsh, 
Letter to Com. Jones, MS., 11, says: ' His Iiouse was surrounded at night, the 
door forced open, and a volley of fire-arms discharged into the beds whei'c it 
was known that Graham and Naile were sleeping. Before they had time to 
leave their beds, Naile received two severe wounds, and was left for dead. 
Graham was knocked down, severely beaten, bound, and carried to Monte- 
rey.' The account in the Pobjnesian says: 'When they started to arrest 
Graham, Garner told them not to attempt to take him alive, but to go to liis 
house in the night, and open tlie door of his room, and fire upon bini while in 
his bed. This they did, and it is surprising that he escaped being killed. His 
bcd-elothes were much torn by the balls, and one ball wounded him slightly 
in the abdomen.' 


through the open willow-work that formed one side, I 
leveled my rifle at him, and exploded three caps; but 
one of the foreigners had tampered with the rifle, and 
it would not go off", though Alviso now took to his 
heels. The hired man and two of the travellers had 
escaped, and I was left alone with the remaining stran- 
ger, a man who had lost all his fingers. Both the others 
had been emissaries of the Californians sent to watch 
us, and to escape and report if we had any notice of 
the coming danger. They had singled out Graham, 
Naile, and mj^self as special victims; and they had 
agreed that neither of us should be left to tell the 
bloody tale. I now escaped, my companion not fol- 
lowing me, into a willow swamp near by, barefoot, 
and having on nothing but shirt and pantaloons. I 
%Yas the only man who had attempted any resistance." 
Morris remained in the swamp all day, and at night 
found his way to the house of Littlejohn, eight miles 
away, where he remained two days, and then went by 
way of Santa Cruz to the distillery of Dye and ]\Ia- 
jors at Zayante. He relates at considerable length 
that Dye, after promising protection, betrayed him 
into the hands of Castro's men, and treated Majors, 
his partner, in like manner. He was finally arrested 
about April 16th by Ness and Lyons, and was taken 
to Monterey by Buelna's compan}^ in which Dye 
served as a soldier. On the way he stopped at Nati- 
vidad, where Naile was found, unable to rise from his 
bed on account of his w^ound, but kindly treated, as he 
said, by Alviso. Not a scrap of property was left, all 
having been stolen. He arrived at Monterey the 
18th of April.^" 

There is not much to be said about the arrests 
made, except at Natividad, and no special outrages 
are charged upon the Californians even by the vic- 

'" ^forris' Diary of a Crazy Man, MS., 7-S, 10-Co, with many minute de- 
tails for which I have no space. A statement by Morris, agreeing more or 
less with this, was also published by Faruham. He says Naile claimed to 
Lave been wounded by Garner himself. 


tims. James Meadows relates that he, with Higgins 
and Anderson, engaged in sawing on the Carinelo 
Creek, was lured to the house of one Romero, who by 
giving up the foreigners hoped to secure their rifles 
as a reward. ^^ Rafael Pinto brought in six or eight 
other sawyers from El Pinal.^- Eusebio Galindo was 
one of the party that brought in the lumbermen of 
San Prancisquito, without force or fetters, feeling 
sure they were engaged in no plot, and soon procuring 
their release.^^ Jacinto Rodriguez and his command 
took seven Americans, lumbermen like the rest, at 
the Aguage de Tres Pinos.^* J. M. Covarrubias was 
sent toward San Jose, and kept the prisonei-s of that 
region for some days confined at Santa Clara, one of 
them being James W. Weeks."*^ Harry Bee was in the 
redwoods with Trevethan, Rogers, and an American, 
when Jose Castro himself with fifty men made a raid 
on the saw-pit; and Bee's throat was even honored, 
if we may credit his story, by the grasp of the coman- 
dante himself ^^ John Chamberlain was ariested at 
his shop early in the morning, and on his arrival at 
the calabozo found six or seven others already there.^' 
Charles Brown was also arrested in the redwoods; 
and at one time he enjoyed the distinction — so he 
says — of being chained to Isaac Graliam, but was soon 
released.^^ Marsh, visiting Mission San Jose on busi- 

" Meadows' Graham Affair, MS. On the way a MexicajQ fired a pistol- 
ball very near Meadows' bead. 

^'^ Pinto, Apunt., MS., 44-51. These two arrests were made the same 
night as those at Natividad. 

^^ Galindo, Apuntes, MS., 44. 

'' Rodriguez, Statement, MS. 

'^ Weeks, Remin., MS., 103-10, says 'Covarruhias came putting on airs 
worse than the devil, and locked me up as if I had been Walker or some 
other gi-anjUibustero.' At S. Jos6 he 'had the satisfaction to see a jiack of 
Christians and people of reason overhauling my writing-desk and pillaging 
every little thing that satisfied their gluttonous eyes. They set in robbing 
me from the word go; said they were looking for documents to prove conspir- 
cy . ' On the way to Monterey they met Castro and Montenegro at the Roblar 
de la L.iguna. 

'"^L'ce's Recoil., MS., 21, etc. They were taken to Monterey on horseback. 
Bee was a married man, as was Weeks also. 

^^Chamberlain, Mem., MS., 5-G. Among the others were Ed Watson 
and Mark West, who with Chamber-lain were released next day. 

'^ Brown's Early Events, MS., 15. 


ness, was detained there for two days, and then with 
four others sent under guard to Monterey, where, 
however, he was released on parole.^' I have no nar- 
rative from any of the persons arrested in the south; 
but George Nidever tells how he and several others 
escaped at San Diego, by at first threatening to use 
force, and then dropping down the coast to a position 
whence they saw the Guijnizcoana pass within a short 

In confinement at the capital, all the prisoners and 
their friends agree that they were badly treated. 
There were many persons shut up in a small room, 
where I have no doubt they passed an uncomfortable 
fortnight. There was certainly over-crowding and 
defective ventilation. For two or three days the food 
supply was irregular, and probably insufficient. Mor- 
ris says, "For three days I did not taste a moi-sel of 
any kind of food, for there was no person humane 
enough to send me any;" but he seems to have been 
confined separately from most of the others, and his 
fasting was in the last days of the general captivity." 
Thomas O. Larkin later in the year certified that on 

'^ jifarsh's LeUer to Com. Jones, MS., 11-12. Marsli had a rancho in the 
Mt Diablo region. 

*» JVideter's Life, MS., 104^5. Sparks and Hewitt are named among his 
companions. Tliey were engaged in otter-hunting. 

*^ Morrii' Diary, MS., S-9, 25-9. He admits that Larkiu furnished him 
food at the comandante's order for a day or two before the sailing. In the 
Poli/nesian, June 20th, we read: 'The government did not furnish them with 
anything to protect them from the damp ground floor of the prison, and it is 
probable they would have had no otlier bed had not Mr Spence persuaded 
the governor to permit him to provide them with a few bullock hides. On 
complaint being made by the same gentleman that the men were actually 
suffering from want of air, he had some of them taken out and put into an- 
otlier room. One they liberated, because he became so faint they were afraid 
he would lose his life. His store was broken open during his contiuement. ' 
Gonzalez, En-olucioiies, MS., 12, says he received Graham and his compan- 
ions from Soto at Buenavista, and treated them kindly until delivered to 
Alvarado. Brown, ICarl;/ Dai/a, MS., 15-17, says about 100 men were con- 
fined in a room IS.\.30 ft, so that only a few could lie down at a time; but 
some of them were soon put in another room. Bee says there were 40 in the 
room, and that no food was furnished by the authorities. ItecolL, JIS., 21-8. 
Weeks, Jtemiii., ilS., 109-11, tells us that 40 or 50 were liuddled together in 
Olio room. Mcado-ws,G mliajyi Affair, MS., 4-9, has it that 110 men were 
confined in a room 18x20 ft, it being impossible to lie or even sit; but Gra- 
h.iiii. Chard, Majors, Daly, Morris, and 9 otliers were later put in another 


and after the third day of the imprisonment, that is, 
April 9th, he had at the request of the comandante 
furnished to the prisoners daily and ample supplies of 
meat, bread, beans, and tea. This should be a suffi- 
cient refutation of the charges of starvation.^ 

On the 18th of April the Don Quixote, Captain 
Paty, arrived from Honolulu. On her as a passenger 
was Thomas J. Farnham, an American lawyer, who 
published a book as the result of his visit. His ver- 
sion of the Graham affair is better known than any 
other. He was apparently an intelligent man, and 
was certainly in some respects a brilliant writer. Had 
he been wise enough to show a degree of fairness in 
his observations on various minor matters, his state- 
ments on the subject of this chapter would be entitled 
to some weight, on account of his opportunities for 
knowing the truth. As it is, his remarks on men and 
events at Monterey are so evidently and absurdly false 
as to throw more than a doubt upon all that he says. 
From the moment that some slight obstacle, like the 
necessity of a passport, was thrown in the way of the 
sea-sick passenger lauding as soon as he wished, there 
arose in him hatred and contempt for all that was Cal- 
ifornian. Nor was his rage mitigated when he learned 
"that one hundred and fifty odd Americans and Brit- 
ons were thirsting and starving in the prisons of the 
town, and destined to be sacrificed to Spanish malig- 
nity." Travellers of all nations had visited California 
ill past years and published their views of its inhabi- 
tants, favorable or unfavorable ; but it was reserved for 

" Dec. 6, 1S40, Larkiu's certificate in Larkln's Doc, MS., i. 105. Graham 
and 9 others, Petition to U.S. Govt, 1843, say: 'The room, about 20 ft sq., 
■nithout being floored, became very damp and offensive, endangering our 
health at times. One liad to stand while another slept, and during the first 
three days not a moutliful of food found or offered us by our oppressors, but 
living on the charity of them tliat pitied us.' Larkin 'assisted us not only 
in food ' but in other necessaries allowed to be introduced. ' Some of us were 
taken out of prison from time to time and released by the intercession of 
friends or through sickness. ' This it will be seen is much more moderate 
than Farnham's version. Pinto, Apunt., MS., 54, says the prisoners had 
plenty of food, and were treated as well as was possible under the circum- 
stances. Farnham states that the contract with Larkin was not m.ide until 
April 19th. 


this individual to discover that the people had not a 
single good quality; that the leading men were not 
only villains, cowards, and brutes, but displayed their 
character clearly in every feature and action. I have 
already quoted extensively from this writer, and shall 
have occasion to cite him again; but quotations would 
not do justice to the chapters in which he pictures the 
terrible sufferings of the captives, the fiendish outrages 
committed by the Californians, and the zealous efforts 
of himself and a companion by whom alone, as is im- 
plied, the lives of all were saved. It is with regret 
that I am obliged in a sense to give to this author 
more prominence than to others who have told the 
truth. Farnham sailed May 5th, and met the exiles 
again at Santa Bdrbara and San Blas.*^ 

There was naturally an attempt to obtain evidence 
of a plot on the part of the prisoners before sending 
them away; but, although there is no record extant of 
the investigation, it was evidently unsuccessful. The 

*' Farjiham's Life in Cal., 50-116, 402-16. I shall have more to say of tlie 
book elsewhere. The author represents the arrangement with Larkin about 
supplying food to have been made after his arrival — that is, nearly two weeks 
after the arrests ! He constantly alludes to ' an American ' who by his active 
efforts, his independent way of threatening the governor, and his mysterious 
manner of signalling the Don Quixote as she repeatedly entered and left tlie 
harbor, did much to save the prisoners' lives. From the narrative I should 
suppose this American to have been Farnham himself; but Morris says there 
was another whoso name he forgets. It may have been Chamberlain, an agent 
of American missions at the Sandwich Islands, who was a passenger by the 
vessel. Once Alvarado in ' a most sublime rage ordered the guards to fire on 
the American, and strode through his apartment, bellowing fearfully and 
raising a very dense cloud of dust!' Farnliam was kept awake at night by 
the piteous appeals of the prisoners; and he sometimes went near enough tn 
Graham's cell 'to hear the lion-hearted old man roar out his indignation.' 
' Suffocation, the pangs of death, one at a time coming slowly by day and 
among the sleepless moments of the long and hot night, life pendent on the 
mercy of a Calit'ornian Spaniard' — this was their condition, yet ' dying Amer- 
icans, unconquerable sons of the republic,' sang at the last ' H.ail Columbia;' 
and ' sturdy Britons were there to sing " Rule Britannia," when the American 
proposed to aid them in breaking prison, taking the town, and disposing of the 
authorities at the rope's end if they did not give them a fair trial within three 
days! Hastings, Emignmts' Guide, 118-21, is as violent and inaccurate as 
Farnham, though his version is briefer. In {J. F. Ji.) Leaves from my Jour- 
nal, in Honolulu Polynesian, ii. 77, 80, 89, 9.S, is another narrative of the voy- 
age of the Don Quixote, much more moderate iu tone than Farnham's, but 
taking the same general view. The author says one man was arrested and 
Bent by land from Monterey to be put on the vessel at Sta Barbara. 


version of Fariihara and Morris, slightly supported by 
the testimony of" several others, is that the prisoners, 
questioned one after another, uniformly denied any 
knowledge of a plot, and were forced to sign what was 
said to be their testimony, but was presumably a con- 
fession of guilt, without being permitted to know the 
purport of what they signed.** These statements, 
together with Garner's charges now deliberately 
repeated under oath, were, according to this version, 
sent to Mexico as justifying the exile.*^ That this 
version is false is evident from the fact that the 
Mexican government subsequently blamed Alvarado 
for not sending legal proofs. It would not have 
required many confessions of accomplices to constitute 
such proofs ; and if Alvarado had set about the manu- 
facture of forged testimony, there is no reason to doubt 
that he would have made it strong enough. Indeed, 
there is much reason to believe that even Garnei^'s 
testimony was either not formally repeated, or was 
indefinite, and that Padre Real's original letter, with 
Garner's first denunciation and several vague rumors, 
constituted the only support of the charges preferred. 
Alvarado realized perfectly that the legal grounds of 
his action were weak. But he believed the foreigners 

* ' MoiTis, Diarji, MS. , 26-9, says he refused to sign the deposition at first, 
but finally yielded, whereat the judges ' pricked up their ears and looked at 
each other as wise as a jackass that had received a shock from a galvanic lat- 
tery.' Morris further affirms that he was once taken out to be shot, but was 
saved by Farnham. This is confirmed by Meadows and Chamberlain. Faru- 
ham says the mock-trial was on April ■23d, when 21 of the prisoners were 
brought out and seated on the grass before the governor's house. Each m.-.!i 
was asked for his passport, which, of course, he could not produce, as it had 
been stolen from his house, even if he had been allowed to go there for it. 
Then each was catechised about the plot, and denied the services of an inter- 
preter. Their statements were reduced to writing in Spanish. ' They con- 
tained, as I afterward learned in Mexico, things never said, accoimts of acta 
never performed, and bequests of property to their persecutors, their jailers, 
etc' 'Thus ended the trial of IGO odd (!) Americans and Britons before a 
court of Calif omiau Arabs ! ' 

*■> A writer in the Ski Cruz Sentinel, April 3, 1869, claiming to have been 
one of the prisoners, says that Garner at this trial hesitated to re-afuim liis 
denunciation, but was forced to sign the document and take the oath liy 
Alvarado, who threatened to shoot him next day if he refused. In Orahain 
el al, Petition, 33, it is stated that S men were separately examined with a 
bad interpreter, and were later taken to another room and kept manacled until 
their departure. 


were plotting. He knew that they formed an unde- 
sirable element of population, and he had resolved to 
get rid of them. If his legal proofs of conspiracy- 
were slight, he trusted much for his vindication to the 
fact that nine tenths of the exiles had entered the 
country in defiance of law; and at the worst, what did 
it matter to him if Mexico should be required to pay 
damages to the extent of a few thousands of dollars ? 
Safety and quiet would in such case be cheaply pur- 
chased.*" The governor believed he had a right to put 
the offending foreigners at the disposition of the 
supreme government. 

The irons were removed from such prisoners as had 
Avorn them, except perhaps Graham and Morris, when 
they were sent away in boats to the vessel; but on 
board the Guipuzcoana they were again ironed, John 
Chamberlain doing the work, after Freeman Fling, 
another blacksmith, had declined.*' Their condition 
on the vessel was not more comfortable than in tlie 
prison ; indeed, there must have been much suffering, 
even if, as Alvarado claims, they were well fed and 
not exposed to unnecessary discomforts.*^ At Santa 
Bdrbara all were landed and confined on shore for 
several days. Here one or two of the number were 
left on account of sickness; here Farnham again ap- 
peared as their guardian angel; and here, if we may 

'^ Alvarado, Hist. Cal. , MS. , v. 2-13, expresses these views, attaching some 
importance also to the fact that there were in California no proper tribuuab 
for the trial of such cases, no foreign consuls to whom the matter could bo 
referred, and no national vessels to the captains of which foreigners ille- 
gally in the country could be delivered. He expressed somewhat similar 
views at the time. Ilobinson's Life in Cal., 184. 

■" Chamberlain, Memoirs, MS. ,5-14, says he was obliged to iron the pris- 
oners or be sent away with them. They were shackled by the leg to bars of 
iron in groups of from 2to 9 according to the length of the bars; and were at 
first put between decks in rows facing each othei-'and far enough apart for a 
man to walk between them with a tub of food, from which each sccurc<l as 
much as his hands would hold. Meadows, Graham AJair, MS., 15-24, gives 
a similar account, stating tliat Fling refused to put on the irons. Neither 
Meadows nor Morris, who narrates somewhat minutely the events of tlio voy- 
age, makes out a very bad case about their treatment, and Morris admits th;it 
tiicy were allowed to spend the days on deck under guai-d after passing San 

'"Pinto, Apunl., MS., G3-G, who was one of the guard, protests that all 
charges of ill treatment are false. 


credit the narrators — as we certainly may not — were 
repeated all the horrors of tlae Monterey prison, and 
worse.*^ We are told by Meadows that at San Bias 
Castro wished to scuttle the bark and drown the 
prisoners; but he failed to make a satisfactory ar- 
rangement with the master about the price to be paid 
for the vessel! Wilkes continues the chapter of hor- 
rors by dwelling on the sufferings of the victims, as, 
heavily ironed, barefoot, and without food, they were 
driven under the lash to Tepic — sixty miles in two 
days, with the thermometer at 90 degrees! And final- 
ly Morris informs us that Castro attempted on the 
way to get rid of Farnham by assassination ! ^^ 

At Tepic the sufferings of the prisoners were prac- 
tically at an end ; for we must not through the false- 
hoods extant be led to forget that they really suffered 
great hardships. Though they continued under arrest 
for several months, they were kindly treated, lodged 
in comparatively comfortable quarters, and well fed; 
and they had the additional pleasure, one which went 

■" Graham et al., Pitition, say 3 men in irons were put in an ox-cart; the 
rest went on foot, some chained in pairs. No food nor water for 24 hours. 
One would have died but for the liimlness of Dr Den, who caused food and 
water to be supplied. Some of the captives from Monterey were released 
and sent back. Both in prison and on the vessel ' we were freijuentiy 
threatened, pricked, and struck with swords by the subaltern officers of the 
Mex. govt.' Meadows, Morris, and Farnham vie with each other in exag- 
gerating the hardsliips and outrages at Sta Barbara, which Farnham extends 
to the voyage. It is stated that the inhabitants, all except the women, as- 
sembled on one occasion to amuse themselves by seeing the captives eat, and 
note their disgust as the breech-clout of the Indian cook was found in the 
soup, where it had been put as a joke by Torre's direction. Meadows says 
that about a dozen were left here on plea of sickness. Farnham sailed on tiic 
Don Quixote before the departure of the Guipnzroana. 

^'Morris, however. Diary, MS., 33-8, states that the prisoners had sev- 
eral asses, in the use of which they took turns; that at the half-way station. 
by the agents of Barron and Forbes, they were afforded a good ni'ghL's rc:;t 
and plenty of food; and that from that point to Tepic they were well enoivih 
treated. Capt. Clifford's narrative— taken doubtless mainly from FarnliauVs 
lips — in the Nen- York Journal of Commerce, and reprinted in the Poli/uesiaii, 
Dec. 5, 1840, gives at some length the account of the terrible sufTerings en- 
dured on the journey by sea and land. ' During the march, which was labo- 
rious enough to exhaust the stoutest frame, the prisoners were urged forwai-J 
by lashes inflicted upon their naked bodies; and one, who sank under fatigue, 
was barbarously beaten with the butt-end of a musket, to renovate his 
strength, and arouse his drooping spirits.' Also In Niles' licij., Ixviii. 371. 


far to compensate them for all their wrongs, of seeing 
the Californians of their guard kept under arrest for 
some two weeks until orders for their release came from 
Mexico.^^ All this was due to the influence of Eustace 
Barron, the British consul at Topic, upon the coman- 
dante general of Jalisco, Don Manuel Castillo Negrete, 
a brother of Don Luis known in California. Farnham 
had arrived in a schooner from Mazatlan, and had lost 
no time in bringing the wrongs of the foreigners to 
the consul's attention. There is no official record of 
events at Tepic. Rafael Pinto, and Morris more 
briefly, give some details of experience there from the 
standpoint of Californlan and foreigner respectively; 
but their narratives contain little or nothing of gen- 
eral interest to the reader.^^ 

Castro, having been personally under arrest but for 
a day or two, proceeded to Mexico in accordance with 
his instructions from Alvarado. He was accompanied 
by Covarrubias and Soto, Torre being left in command 
of the guard at Tepic, and Pinto being also left behind 
sick with a fever. Covarrubias and Soto, the former 
gaining in the mean time a cross of honor for having 
offered his services in defence of the president on July 
ISth,"^^ soon returned to Acapulco and sailed for Cali- 
fornia on the Catalina. Torre, Pinto, and the Cali- 
fornlan troops embarked also on the Catalina when 
she touched at San Bias in September. They arrived 
at San Diego about the middle of October, with news 

'■Mon-is, Diary, MS.,3S-41, writes: ' From the top of our prison wc beheld 
the mighty dons of California taking the cool air on the top of their prison. 
"Ah," thought I, "you have caught a Tartar." My companions were over- 
joyed, and I thouglit they would have burst themselves with laughter. Some 
of them came running to me saying, "Damn my eyes, but the consul has put 
Castro and his damned buggers in prison."' He delights especially in the 
manner in which Castro was snubbed by Barron. Aug. 4th, letter from Tcpie 
to N. Y. Jour. Com., in UonoMu, Polynesian, i. 1G3, announcing an-ival of 
prisoners at Tepic. 

^'' Pinto, Apunt., MS., 44-74, deserves special mention as a fair and com- 
plete account of the whole afTair, a mention the more necessary on accoimt of 
i'arnham's unjust abuse of this officer. Osio, Hid. Cal., MS., 409-10, is bit- 
ter in his denunciations of Castillo Negrete, stating that he was not only or- 
dered to release the Californians, but was severely reprimanded. 

'' Original document conferring the cross, dated Sept. 1, 1S40, in Vallejo, 
Doc., MS., ix. 233. 


that the foreigners were still prisoners at Tcpic, and 
that Castro was detained in Mexico/* 

On the 23d of September the minister of the inte- 
rior informed Alvarado of the government's disposi- 
tion of the prisoners. The governor's zeal in prevent- 
ing a revolt was approved, and he was ordered to see 
to it that no foreigners should in future be allowed to 
enter California except in accordance with the laws; 
but should the necessity again arise to expel them, he 
must be careful to send proofs of their guilt in order 
to avoid reclamations. Of the prisoners, Graham, 
Morris, Chard, and Bowles^^ were to remain in con- 
finement, subject to the courts of Tepic. Such of the 
others as were naturalized or married to Mexican 
wives were to be freed, on giving bonds to await at 
Tepic the result of legal investigations ; and the rest 
were to be sent out of the republic, and not allowed 
to return to California. Orders to this effect were is- 
sued on the same date by the minister of war.^^ 

I have no official record of any subsequent order of 
the Mexican government respecting the prisoners, of 
correspondence with British and American consuls on 
the subject, or of the final investigations in the case 
of those who remained in prison or under bonds at 
Tepic. It appears, however, that the order of Sep- 
tember 2od must have been modified, at least so far 
as to include in the class not banished, not only the 

"Arrival of the Catalina at S. Diego before Oct. 22d. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. 
Cust.-H., MS., V. 7-8; Vcdlejo, Doc, MS., x. 321. Pinto, Apunt., MS., 65- 
71, tells the story of the voyage, and of certain troubles between the troops 
and the captain of the vessel, Karl Christian, whom he represents as partially 
insane. On the Catalina came also at this time Manuel Castauares to take 
charge of the Monterey custom-house; his brother, JosiS Maria, returning to 
California by stealth on account of certain troubles at Mazatlan; the artillery 
captain, Mariano Silva; and Mauricio Gonzalez. Feb. 1, 1S42, gov. orders 
payment of §1,550 to Cilia for passage of officers and troops. Dept. St. Pap., 
Ben. Com. and Treas., MS., iv. 08-9. 

^'> Called Jorge Jos6 Bouils, or Bonils, or Bonis; but it must have been 
Bowles, I think. 

5" Sept. 23d, min. of int. to gov. Supt. Govt St. Pap., MS., xvi. 7-8; 
S. Dkijo, Arch, MS., 272; Depl. St. Pap., MS., iv. 130; Jd.,An(t., vi. 29- 
30; xii. 49-50; Arch. Sta Cruz, MS., 53-5. June 2, 1840, min. of war has 
received Vallejo's despatch of April 25th. Savage, Doc.,'MS., in. 1. Published 
in California in May 1841. 


naturalized and married, but all who had passports, 
permits, or other evidence of having to any extent 
complied vi'ith the requirements of the laws. At any 
rate, the class was made to include about twenty men, 
many more certainly than had naturalization papers, 
if indeed any had them. The rest, or about thirty, 
were doubtless sent out of the republic as ordered, 
having no legal claims whatever for damages. The 
current idea that all or nearly all were awarded dam- 
ages, or at least sent back to California at government 
expense, is erroneous. 

The detention of Graham and his companions, and 
the investigation of their wrongs against or at the 
hands of Mexico, lasted until June. During the 
time Larkin visited Mexico, where he doubtless tes- 
tified in this matter.*' The result was, that the 
prisoners were found iimocent of the charges against 
them, and were apparently adjudged entitled to com- 
pensation for actual losses, including lost time. Some 
of them were paid $250 each by Consul Barron — of 
course with authority from the government and for- 
eign ministers — and for that sum released Mexico 
from all further claims. Others perhaps received 
smaller sums on account; and all were sent back to 
California at expense of the government, there to 
procure legal evidence of their losses in consequence 

"Jan. 18, 1841, Carmichael, one of the prisoners, writes from Tepic to 
Larkin as follows : ' It is tlic general opinion of the foreigners of this place 
that you have gone ou to Mexico on secret business, business against us that 
•were of lute prisoners in this place. As for my part, I believe nothing of the 
kind; at all events, if you should be able to do nothing for us, please try and 
do nothing against us. It would be made known in the course of time, and as 
you are doing business in Monterey, it would cause you to be very unpopular . . . 
Try and effect all you can with his c.\cellency, Powhattan Ellis, in behalf of 
your countrymen. Mr Graham had a rehearing on Friday last; he was 
asked by the judge some of the most frivolous questions, such as what was 
bis mother's name before juarriage, etc. So far as I can see into Graham's 
business, this govt is making notliing but a perfect humbug with his case, with 
a view of detaining him a great leii"th of time in the country. I heard yes- 
terday by one of the clerks that ovei-Iiauled the documents that came on of late 
from Cal. that you had sworn against us, though I think there is nothing 
more of it than you informed mo when hero ... As you are now at headquar- 
ters, please try and find out if possible tlie result of this business, whether wo 
aro going to be paid, and hownmch...P. S. I have just heard that Gra- 
ham s busmcss will be l^iought to a dose soon.' LarJciii's Doc, MS., i. 120. 


of arrest. They were provided with cartas de se- 
guridad, and the authorities were to afford facilities 
for verifying the accounts. Up to this point the 
English and American claimants appear to have been 
treated exactly alike, Barron having acted for the 
American consul, who was absent. The schooner 
Bolina was chartered for the trip, and the returning 
exiles, perhaps twenty in number, though probably 
a few did not find their way back till later, were 
landed at Monterey in July 1841.^^ It is evident 

''June 3, IS^tl, Barron to Larkin, announcing the result and requesting 
him to aid in establisliing claims. He implies clearly that money had been 
priid to Americans as well as Englishmen. Larkin, writing to the U. S. sec. 
of state in 1844, says also that some claims of both classes were relinquished 
for S2d0 each. Id., Official Cor resp., MS., ii. 5-6. Farnham, continuing his 
lies to the last, says they were tried again, ' aud condemned to perpetual im- 
prisonment upon an island in a mountain lake of Mexico, ' but were saved by the 
consul! Meadows, Graham Affair, MS., 28-30, was one of the men who got 
§230, which he represents as simply an advance made to those who wished 
to leave Tepic, those who remained getting S300, but in this he is in error, 
since his name does not appear in the later list of English claimants. July 
22d, Comandante Flores at Monterey announces arrival of the Bolina with 
Graham and IS others on July 20th. Vallyjo, Doc, MS., x. 215. Alvarado, 
on July 29i;h, speaks of Graham and about 15 Englishmen having arrived, 
40 (?) having been scattered. Id., x. 236. Those known to have been sent 
back at this time were Graham, Moriis, Chard, Carmichael, Meadows, An- 
derson, O'Brien, Dove, Price, Chapel, Lan^lois, and Warner. There were 
others also, apparently, as they seem to have been in the country later. 
These were Barton, Bowles, Cooper, Frazer, Lewis, Lucas, McGlone, and 
Peace. Perhaps McAllister aud Maynard also returned. In most printed 
accounts it is stated that all, or nearly all, the exiles came back. Robinson, 
Life in C'al., 1S7-S, asserts that they came back welt dressed and armed, and 
looking better than when they left. This writer, followed by Tuthill, Hist. 
Cal., 140-7, dates the return a year later, by the Columbine. Mofras, Explo- 
ration, i. 304-11, says the agreement was for each individual to receive S3 
per day for his time, besides indemnity for losses of property. They came 
back exulting in their success and full of projects for vengeance against 
Alvarado and Castro. They would make another Texas of Cal. as soon as 
t!iey were strong enough, being assured of the support of the U. S. Mofras 
makes out very erroneously that of the 46 prisoners sent away, 6 died, 31 
returned, and 9 refused to return. 

Marsh, Letter to Com. Jones, MS., 12-13, ^vrites: 'The American consul 
did nothing, and seems to have been a perfect ciplier. Two of the prisoners 
after their enlargement went to the city of Mexico, where the British minister 
made every exertion to obtain for these imfortunate men sonte remuneration 
from the Mexican govt for their losses and sufferings. The American minis- 
ter is understood to have done absolutely nothing.' Morris writes, Diart/, 
MS.. 41 : 'They were compelled to charter a schooner, furnish her with every- 
tliing necessary for the voyage, and bring us all back to Monterey, where wo 
arri\ed on July 15 (?), 1841, to the very great surprise of many a treacherous 
Spaniard and foreigner.' Capt. Clifford, in Andes' Ilerj., Iviii. 371, says: 'Offi- 
cial accounts of this infamous transaction have been forwarded to the British 
and American governments by their respective ministers ; and it is confidently 
hoped that prompt and energetic measures will be pursued to obtain ample 
Hist. Cal., Vol. IV. 3 


that President Bustamaiite had been imwilHng to 
comphcate existing troubles by engaging in a contro- 
versy witli foreign powers. 

Meanwhile, Jose Castro was subjected to a trial by 
court-martial at the national capital, on charges pre- 
ferred by the British and American ministers. Of 
course in conveying the prisoners to Tepic, Castro had 
merely obeyed the orders of his superiors, Alvarado 
and Vallejo; and the charges of ill treatment could 
not be substantiated. The proceedings began before 
the end of 1840,=^' and lasted until May 1841. It is 
understood that Micheltorena, later governor of Cali- 
fornia, conducted Castro's defence; and the result was, 
that he was fully exonerated of blame, and permitted 
to return to California, where he arrived in Septem- 
ber, having made the trip chiefly by land."" There 
seems to be no foundation for the later rumors that 
he narrowly escaped conviction, or that he had to 
run away from Mexico in disguise."' The funds from 
which his expenses were paid were furnished by En- 
justice and renmneratioD for the prisoners, anil satisfaction for the national 
insult. ' ' Douljtlcss the American and English governments will demand ample 
satisfaction for these unfLatuuate men.' JJottolidu Polynesian, June 20, 1S40. 
Farnham on Jlay •2ith was warmly thanked in writing by the prisoners at 
Tepic for his services. Id., Dec. 5, 1S40; trndi'mhis Life in Cal., 414, concludes: 
'Graham returned to California, a broken-spirited, ruined man. The others 
are dispersed elsewhere. Our government has never avenged their wrongs. ' 
' Fifteen months later the government of Mexico sent part of them back to 
Monterey, several dying from fatigue and privations. ' NUes' Key. , Ixviii. 211. 

*'Aug. 22, 1840, Virmond to Vallejo, explaining that Castro was not al- 
lowed to leave the city. Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 229. Dec. 17th, Gen. Valen- 
cia, chief of staff, to Vallejo. Court-martial in progress. Record of Castro's 
services required. Id., ix. 359. Jan. 23, 1841, Virmond to Munras. Castro 
will come out all right. Is living unmolested at writer's house. /(/., xxxiii. 
184. June 12, 1841, news of C.'s arrival at Mex. has reached Sta B. Sta £., 
Arch., MS., 23. 

^° April 5, 1841, Valencia announces Castro's acquittal to Vallejo. Vallejo, 
Doc., MS., X. 97. May 12th, Castro's return ordered, and expenses to be 
paid. Id., x. 136. May l.'jth, Castillero says that the acquittal was an hon- 
orable one. /(?., X. 138. Sept. 18th, Alvarado speaks of Castro's return. Id., 
X. 281. Oct. 1st, orders for payment of dues to Castro. DepC. St. Pap., Den. 
Com. ami Treas., MS., iv. 56. 

" Osio, Hist. Col., MS., 410-11, says that in consequence of Barron's per- 
secutions, Castro had to come by by-roads ria Durango to Mazatlan. Rob- 
inson, LiJ'e in Cal., 188, remarks: 'It is said it would have gone hard 


rique Virmond, to be repaid in California hides and 

*"""'■ 121GG94 

The Guipuzcoana had sailed from Monterey in 
April, 1840, and for nearly fifty days all was quiet, 
with no tidings of the exiles and their guard. Then 
came news in an unexpected and even threatening 
form. On the 1 1th of June there anchored before the 
town the French sloop of war Danaide, whose com- 
mander, J. de Rosamel, had come to demand an ex- 
planation of the outrage lately committed upon his 
countrymen — perhaps to avenge it — and at any rate 
to protect such Frenchmen as were yet in danger. He 
had been about to sail from Mazatlan for Honolulu 
when by the arrival of a schooner from Santa Barbara 
he heard a grossly exaggerated report of the foreign- 
ers' arrest and banishment, including the statement 
that two Frenchmen had been killed and others 
severely wounded. He was of course delighted to 
learn that the rumor was false, that not a single one 
of his compatriotes had even been sent away, and that 
one or two who had been arrested were released ap- 
parently for no better reason than that they were 
Frenchmen. There being no occasion for warlike or 
even diplomatic demonstrations, Rosamel and his men 
proceeded to enjoy themselves for twenty days, to the 
mutual satisfaction of themselves and the Monterey- 
ans, with whom they established, as earlier visitors of 
their nation had usually done, the most friendly and 
agreeable relations. On July 2d, the Danaide sailed 

*' June 19th, July 12th, com. of Monterey announces arrival and departure 
of Danaide and St Louis. Each left two deserters, but the Frenchmen were 
captured and restored. Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 150, 174. July 1st, Rosamel 
to gov., e.xplaining )iis motives in coming, and expressing his pleasure tliat 
his countrymen had been so well treated. He concludes as follows: 'C'est 
avec le plus vif regret. Monsieur le Gouverneur, que je auis forc6 de voua 
quitter, mais croyez bien que partout ou me porterd la destiuee je n'oublierai 
jamais la bonne reception que vous avez faite 6, la Danaide, et les relations 
amicales qui se sont etablies entre nous pendant mon S(5jour sur votre rade.' 
Original letter in Id., xxxiii. 88. Robinson's story. Life in Col., lSl-3, fol- 
lowed by Tuthill, Hiat. Cal., U6, that Alvarado, in his feax and perplexity, 


Nor was the Danalde the only vessel that came on 
this business. The U. S. man-of-war St Louis, Cap- 
tain French Forrest, was only two days behind the 
Frenchman, arriving June 13th, and saihng July 4th. 
Forrest in a letter to the governor demanded an ex- 
planation of the report that Americans had been at- 
tacked in their houses, wounded, robbed, imprisoned, 
and sent away in violation of existing treaties. The 
required explanation was given: namely, that certain 
foreigners had been sent away according to law, either 
for oftences against the public peace, or for having en- 
tered the country illegally; that they had been so well 
treated that one of them wrote a letter of thanks; and 
that none had sufiered spoliation, none but Graham 
having any property. If Foi-rest was not satisfied 
with'this explanation, he took no further steps in the 
matter, except to collect testimony from certain resi- 
dent Americans, who claimed to have suffered losses 
in consequence of their arrest. On his departure, 
during Alvarado's absence in the interior, he left Ethan 
Estabrook to act as consular agent, of whose experi- 
ence in California I know nothing, except that the 
governor refused to recognize his authority. He ob- 
tained a passport to travel, and probably left the 
country in 1841, after taking a few additional state- 

left the town on pretext of an Indian campaign, and remained absent until 
the vessels sailed, has, I suppose, not much foundation, though it is true that 
A. did leave town and was absent at the time of departure of both vessels. 
Melius, Diary, MS., 5-6, says the Danaide entered with open ports, ready to 
open fire; but cooled dowu on hearing how matters stood. Capt. Phelps of 
the Alert, Fore and Afl, 251-2, was at Monterey at the time. He says 
the Frenchman was 'much disappointed' at finding no excuse to fire on the 
town. He tells us the Frenchmen became great favorites with the ladies. 
Once they were so attentive to them in church that the padre ordered them 
to leave the building; but the ladies protested, and the padre had to yield. 
Phelps' account also, in S. Josr Patriot, Jan. 22, 18G9. Mention of Rosamcl's 
visit also, in Mo/ras, Explor., i. 304-6; Valkjo, Hist. Col., MS., iii. 318; iv. 
131-7; AUtirado. Hist. Col., v. U-15. 

"In his report of Dec. 4, 1841, 27th cong. 2d sess.. Sen. Doc. 1, p. 368, 
the sec. navy WTites: ' In the midst of these outrages. Com. Forrest arrived 
upon the coast, and, by his prompt and spirited interposition, vindicated and 
secured the rights, not only of American citizens, but of British subjects. 
For these services he received, and appears to have well deserved, a formal 
expression of the thanks both of .American and English residents.' June 14, 


In September the Guipuzcoana returned with news 
from Tepic. Before that time, in July and August, 
disquieting rumors had come by other vessels, to the 
efi'ect that the prisoners had all been released and 
Castro arrested as a revolucionario.^ In October, as 
we have seen, the troops of the guard came back on 
the Catcdina; in May of the next year came official 
despatches from Mexico; in July the Bolina brought 
nineteen of the released prisoners; and finally, in Sep- 
tember Jose Castro made his appearance. 

The returning exiles in July 1841 came provided 
wath regular passports, and part of them had legalized 
claims against Mexico for the losses they had incurred, 
and the authorities were instructed, at least in the 
case of nine English subjects, to facilitate the obtain- 
ing of proofs as to the amount of those losses.^^ The 

}S40, Capt. Forrest to gov. Dept. St. Pap., MS., v. 12; June 19th, gov.'s re- 
ply. Id., V. 10-11. Dec. 12tli, gov. to niin. int. It seems that the Si Louis 
sailed while Alvarado was temporarily absent, and left the agent without ob- 
serving any formalities. Bept. Hec, MS., -xi. 73^. July 11th, Estabrook to 
gov. Is aware of formalities necessary in appointing consuls, but these do not 
apply to a mere agent whose business is cliicfly commercial. Capt. Forrest 
had a right to inquire into infringement of treaties, and to appoint an agent for 
that purpose. Dept. St. Pap., MS., v. lG-18. His presence also mentioned 
in Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 174. Mofras, Explor., i. 306, is the only authority 
that names Estabrook. Melius, Diary, MS., .5-6, says that Forrest, from the 
declarations taken, set the damages at over $100,000, exclusive of the claims 
of those who had been sent away ! HaiTy Bee was one of the witnesses, 
lle.coll. , SIS. , 21-8, and the only wonder is the aggregate of loss was not larger. 
In June 1841 Jacob Leese testified tliat the lieutenant in command of the St 
Louis had announced in the presence of several persona his intention to seize 
the governor and carry him to Mexico. Nathan Spear could not remember 
any such st.atement, though it was said to have been made at his house. 
Dept. St. Pap., MS., xvii. 74-5. July 2d, Spence writes to Alvarado that 
Forrest wishes to know when he will return, in order to arrange his business 
speedily. No truth in the rumor that he intends harm to A. July 7th, A. 
replies "that business detains him. Id., v. 12. The salutes to the two war- 
vessels, Vfith thcjiesta of Corpus Christi, had very nearly exhausted the sup- 
ply of powder at Monterey. Flores, in Vallejo, Doc., MS., ix. 1.53. 

^'Dept. St. Pap., MS., v. 18-19; /(/., Ben. Pre/, y Juzg., ii. 94-6. Cham- 
berlain, Memoirs, MS., 5-14, speaks of getting letters from Bowles, which he 
showed to Larkin. Spence was angry when he heard the prisoners had been 
released, and declared it a lie. 

'^The 9 were Carmichael, Anderson, O'Brien, Dove, Price, Moms, Cliapel, 
Langlois, and Warner. Dept. Rec, MS., xii. 36. Dec. 14, 1840, the British 
min. to Mexican govt, sent to gov. of Cal. Deo. 31st, and received in July 
1841. Dej^t. St. Pap., Mont., MS., iv. 51-3; Larkin's Doc., MS., i. 116; Sta 
Cruz, Arch., MS., 2.3-6; Castro, Doc, MS., 1. 55. This communicatiou came 
probably on the same vessel as the claimants. The British minister explai ned 
that Carmichael's claim was the largest, §7,380, he having had a shop at 


coming of a war- vessel to settle the matter was an- 
nounced; but what was done meanwhile in California 
I do not know, except that Alvarado informed the 
government that the English claimants had not been 
able to prove the alleged losses.^^ At last in Novem- 
ber the English man-of-war Curacoa, Captain Jones, 
arrived at ]\Ionterey, and a settlement was effected. 
Mofras states that the total amount of compensation 
allowed was §24,050; and I find no other definite 
record on the subject. If they received one half that 
sum the exile had proved a brilliant speculation for the 
Englishmen. Apparently there was no controversy, 
and Alvarado was not disposed to drive a close bar- 
gain in the interest of the national treasury.*^' What- 
ever the terms agreed upon, it is not likely that any 
money was advanced by Jones at the time; and if 
any money was paid over by the English government 
to its subjects later, I have found no positive record 
of the fact. 

The claims of Americans were still pending, and 
remained in that condition for a long time if not for- 
ever. In November 1841 the Yorktoivn had been 
at Monterey, and the commander, J. H. Aulick, 
had probably carried away some testimony on the 
subject.®^ Of correspondence between Washington 

Monterey at the time of hi3 arrest, and being about to carry out a business 
matter of great importance; that the others were much less; and that it was 
supposed that a part of the property lost could be returned by the aid of the 
local authorities. At any rate, it was for the interest of Mexico to closely in- 
vestigate each claim; and the authorities were accordingly instructed to 
interpose no obstacles. 

«« July 26, 1841, A. to min. of iut. Dept. Rec, MS., xii. 35-0. July 22d. 
Flores to Vallejo. Two war-vessels expected. The affair seems settled with 
the British minister, but is still pending with the American. Vallejo, Doc., 
MS., X. 220. 

^'Nov. 12, 1S41, A. to min. of int. Reports that the Curnqoa an-ived on 
Nov. 8th, and that an estimate of the value of the lost time of the 9 
men had been made. Dept. Rec. , MS. , xii. 36. According to Mo/ras, Explnr. , 
i. 308-9, Carmichael was allowed §4,. 500 for his shop, etc., "otliers §2,000 
for miscellaneous property lost, and each of lomeu §1,170, or §78 per month 
for 15 months. I doubt the accuracy of tliis statement, especially on account 
of the number of men mentioned. Jlorris at first claimed £37,000. • 

™Nov. 26, 1841, .■\ulick to Larkin. Graham and others ask too much 
when they ask him to wait. They must have their papers ready to-morrow. 
Larkin's Doc, MS., i. 190. 


and Mexico on the subject I find no trace; but it 
came up in California on the occasion of Commodore 
Jones' visit in November 1842. Jones wished to 
settle the claims as his English namesake had done a 
year earlier; and a long correspondence ensued be- 
tween him and the Californian authorities, mainly 
Avith Jose Z. Fernandez, the juez at Monterey. It 
soon became apparent, however, that the second Jones 
would encounter obstacles unknown to the first. The 
correspondence was mainly devoted to a discussion of 
the manner in which the claims were to be verified. 
Each party sought to gain an advantage and throw 
the burden of proof upon the other. Jones, desiring 
to carry the claims in the strongest possible shape to 
Washington, wished to have the sworn statements of 
the claimants accepted and approved by the courts, 
except so far as they could be proved false by wit- 
nesses under a strict cross-examination. He wished to 
dispense with troublesome routine formalities of IMexi- 
can law. He charged that various alcaldes had refused 
to take testimony offered, and complained that the 
American claims were not favored as the English had 
been, or were popularly said to have been. Judge 
Fernandez, to whom Alvarado left the matter almost 
entirely, had manifested a readiness to legalize the 
just claims of American citizens, and at the earlier 
interviews between him and Jones all went smoothly 
enough; but when the investigation really began, the 
judge insisted on following in his own court his own 
ideas, rather than those of the commodore, respecting 
methods of procedure. He proposed to investigate 
each case by an examination of all obtainable testi- 
mony. He declined to be used as a mere machine 
for certifying the accuracy of the Americans' estimates 
of their losses, and declared that he had no authority 
to enter into diplomatic discussions respecting the 
comparative status of English and American claims. 
Chard and Graham are the only claimants named, 
thouffh others are alluded to; and when the case of 


the former came up he was adjudged to be a natural- 
ized Mexicaii citizen, entitled to no damages from any 
nation but Mexico, and he was condemned to pay tlie 
costs of the suit! This was not encouraging; and 
Jones, after striving ineffectually to reform Califor- 
nian court proceedings in accordance with the inter- 
ests of liis countrymen, determined to content himself 
with carrying away their sworn statements, unen- 
cumbered by troublesome comments from other 
vsources. He doubtless understood that the claims, 
if investigated, would dwindle to such insignificant 
figures as to play no part in international complica- 

Nothing more is heard of the Amer-ican claims, ex- 
cept that in 1843-4 they had not been paid, nor in 
1846.'° I find no proof that Graham and his compan- 
ions ever received a cent from the United States, 
though there has always been a prevalent tradition in 

*" One of the statements wliich I have cited as Graham et al. , Petition to V. 
S. Govt, 1S42, >7a3 signed by Graham, Chard, JNIajors, Brown, Hance, Barton, 
Vv'ilson, Cooper, Tonilinson, and Nailc — some of them not sent to S. Bias — 
on Nov. 9, 1S42. It is a much more moderate presentment of the case than 
those made current by Farnham and others. Tlie document was furnished 
by Rev. S. H. Willey, a gentleman who has done much good work in his- 
torical research, and Vias published in Sla Crvz Co. Hint., 9-10; Monterey Co. 
IJisL, :;j— 1. Kox-. l.'ith to Dec. 31st, corresp. between Com. Jones, Gov. Al- 
varad", :i il .lii 1 ^ I' ruandez. Chiefly originals, in Cosfro, jDoc, MS., i. 66- 
114; I ■!> . xxxiii. 301-2, 308. Two of the minor communica- 

tions ;)' ■ ; ;i m Jones at Monterey, Ql-2. Testimony of Graham ,nnd 

Chard Uui il.^u ^w uia statement of losses had been refused by the alcalde of 
' Branciforte. Vallejo, Doc., MS., xxxiu. 299-300. Record of Chard's case. 
His claim was for $1,004. Monterey, Arch., MS., vi. 11. The evidence of his 
naturalization is not given. Mofras, Explor., i. 309-11, gives the claims of 
the Americans as §129,210; Graham, §109,000; Chard, Sj,COO; and 13 others 
for time, §1,170 each (as for the Englishmen), or f<15,210. He says, WTiting 
in 1844, that the cabinet at Washington allowed the claims t.i drag along un- 
paid in order to accumulate injuries at the bauds of MonIco, for w hich some- 
thing more than pecuniary indemnity would one day be demanded. Wilkes, 
l^arr., v. 180-2, complains of the negligence of his govt as implying a doubt 
of the legitimacy of the claims. 

""Mexico promised to pay a certain indemnity to each of these men, which 
she has never yet done, .-ind ow ..f tlRiu is now in this city [Mexico] in the 
extremes* poverty,' wintc W'rl.I\ Tinnnpson, Dec. 31, 1843. Prei.ident'g ^Jc-^a. 
ami Doc, 2Sth eong. 1st,. ,s, ». y>oc., 390, p. 11. April 20, 1844,Larkiu 
to U. S. sec. of state, enclosiiij,' ( M:ili:ini"a statement. Graham claimed §72,500 
besides the value of the property he had lost, including pay for lost time at 
$1,500 per mouth! Larkin's Off. Coi-resp., MS., ii. 5-6. In June, 1S4G, Lar- 
kin also writes on the subject, and maintains that these Cal. claims are the 
strongest that can be brought forward against Mexico. Id., ii. 64. 


California, among both natives and foreigners, that 
Graham did get a large sum.'^ I put no reliance in 
the tradition. Many, possibly all, of the twenty who 
returned received a sum of money at Tepic, $250 
being the largest amount given to any one man. Nine 
of the Englishmen probably received a small additional 
sum, and there is a possibihty that four or five Amer- 
icans in later years may have disposed of their claims 
at a low figure. If each of those adjudged to have 
been illegally exiled could have received $500 in com- 
pensation for his losses, it would have been a better 
use of his time than any one of the number was likely 
to have made in California.'^ 

" Members of Graham's family, and residents of Sfa, Cruz who knew him 
well, say that G. certainly received a large sum; but when pressed for definite 
statements of date and circumstances, they are silent. Willey, Centen. Sketch 
Sta Cruz, 19, also in Sta Cruz Co. Hist., says Graham got §36,000, and that 
Mr Meder was with him when it was paid. Meadows, Graham Affair, MS., 
31, tells us that G men went to N. Y. and recovered §12,000 each, giving half 
to their lawyers, so Bowles, who was one of them, said! Others at Sta Cruz 
sold their claims, for how much he does not know. Graham is said to have 
got 835,000 or §36,000. Gleeson, Hist. Cath. Church, ii. 15-2-3, thinks the 
exiles got S150,000. Serrano, Apuntes, MS., 68-9, puts it at $250,000. Others 
tell us that Graham lost most of liis large property! 

'2 In a letter of June 15, 1S40, to the U. S. sec. of state, Larkin promises a 
full history of the Graham afi'air, to be compiled from the documents in his 
ofBce, the next summer; but I have found no such history. Larlin's Off. 
Corresp., MS., ii. 59. On Feb. 10, 1846, in a letter to Jas Gordon Bennett of 
the N. Y. Herald, Larkin briefly describes the affair, and says, ' I have read 
the Sta F6 history; it is nothing to the California affair.' Id., Doc, ii. 6. 
See also general accounts in Ferry, La CaL, 22-3; Sonlii's Annals of S. F'co, 
83-4; S. F. Col. Star, Feb. 26, 1847; Hartmaun, Geog. Cali/omien, i. 37-8. 




CoNDiTio»i OF Missions in 1836— Sectjlakization — Acts of AurHOKinES 
1836-8— Chico's Policy — Seculakization of Five Missions— New 
Missions Proposed — The Revolution and its Effect — Spoliation — 
Alvakado's Efforts foe Pveform — Reglamento of 1839 — Hartxell 
AS VisiTADOR General — Reolamento of 1840 — Duran's Views — Hakt- 
nell's Second Visita — Resignation — Mission Statistics— President 
and Prefect — Ecclesiastical — Garcia Diego as Bishop— Stipends 
of Friars — Pious Fund — Indian Affairs — Troubles on the San 
Diego Ff.ontiee — RiiscHos Plundered — Sonoma Frontier — Vallejo's 
Policy — Fights and Treaties— Small-pox — South of the Bay — 
Horse-thieves— The Chaguanosos — Seasons and Earthquakes. 

Before the beginning of 1836 sixteen of the twenty- 
one missions had been secularized under the Mexican 
law of 1833, Figueroa's reglamento of 1834, and sup- 
plementary regulations of the diputacion.^ For each 
of these missions the governor had appointed a comi- 
sionado, whose duty it was to re-organize them in ac- 
cordance with the new system. In most instances the 
comisionados had completed their labors; lands had 
been assigned to the ex-neophytes, who had also re- 
ceived a portion of other mission property; majordo- 
mos were in charge of all property not distributed, for 
which they were responsil)le to the territorial govern- 
ment; the friars were serving as curates, being re- 
lieved of the temporal management, but cooperating 
with the majordomos in supervising the labors and 

•On mission annals for 1831-5, see cliap. xi.-xii. of vol. iii. 



conduct of the Indians, who were not yet altogether 
free from control. 

Several of these missions, however, seem still to 
have been in charge of the comisionados; and in others 
the new system had been only partially introduced. 
In few, if any, was the secularization provided by the 
reglamento complete, and indeed, it was not designed 
to be immediately complete. Even of those supposed 
to be in the same stage of development so far as the 
appointment of majordomos, making of inventories, 
assignment of lands, distribution of property, etc., were 
concerned, no two establishments were in exactly the 
same condition. The differences resulted from the 
dispositions of friars, majordomos, and Indians, and 
the resulting mutual relations. In some places, where 
the Indians were most docile and industrious, the pa- 
dre energetic and popular, and the majordomo not too 
much of a politician and speculator, there was practi- 
cally little change from the old system; but in other 
places, where the three elements were continually at 
war, the old methods were completely revolutionized. 
Five missions were still under the friars' control as of 
old. All were declining in prosperity, as the reader 
knows. The enforcement of the reglamento had in 
some instances slightly checked the decline, and in 
others hastened it; but on the whole, secularization 
in its latest phases had done little or no harm at the 
beginning of 1836. 

The general policy of secularizing the missions was 
a wise one, entirely in accordance with the spirit of 
•Spanish institutions under which they were founded, 
and rendered an absolute necessity by the growth of 
republican ideas in America. The change by which 
the monastic monopoly was to be broken up involved 
no wrong to the church, the Franciscan order, or to 
the Indians. Figueroa's regulations, by which the 
policy and the law were to be carried into effect, were 
also wisely conceived in theory. To enforce them 
wisely, in such a manner as to wrong no interest and 


avoid the evils existing as well as those likely to at- 
tend a change, required certain favorable conditions. 
Such were the employment of able and honest admin- 
istrators, a degree of intelligence and civilization on 
the part of the neophytes, the hearty cooperation of 
the missionaries, a strong and watchful territorial gov- 
ernment, a healthful, intelligent, and liberal public 
spirit, and freedom from sectional strife. All these 
conditions being more or less wanting, success was im- 
possible. Failure was a foregone conclusion; and it 
is the annals of that failure that I have to present in 
this chapter. I begin with a record of what was done 
by the authorities in 1836-8. 

We have seen that no action had been taken in 
Mexico on Figueroa's reglamento; but that by the 
decree of November 7, 1835, it had been ordered that 
the missions be kept in the same condition as before 
the law of 1833, until the curates mentioned in that 
law should take possession. This virtually nullified 
the reglamento, and if enforced must have created 
much confusion without leading to any good results; 
but though known in California on the coming of 
Chico, and unofficially somewhat earlier,'' no attempt 
was ever made to carry out its provisions. Chico in 
his discourse before the diputacion alluded to the or- 
der as one issued by congress, of which he had been 
a member, with the best intentions, but without prac- 
tical knowledge on the subject; as one which it was 
impossible to carry out in every respect; but yet one 

'April 7, 1836, Carlos Carrillo to Vallejo. Mentions the decree of Nov. 
7th as having been sent to Pres. Duran by the bishop of Sonora. Vallfjo, Doc, 
MS., iii. ISo. There is no evidence that the decree was ever officially pub- 
lished in Cal. It seems, however, that the friars expected a compliance with 
the decree, since on May 7, 18.31, Vice-prefect Moreno to the Zacatecanos 
proposes that for charity's sake they should make the sacriljce of taking charge 
of the temporalities so as to prevent the utter ruin of the missions under the 
mismanagement of the comisionados and inajordomos. Arch. Obis/xido, MS., 
58-9. Aug. 13, 1837, Buran to dip. Says lie had in July called for the en- 
forcement of the decree of Nov. 7, 1S3.5, but he hears the dip. has resolved to 
treat other matters first. Cannot understand that anything can be more im- 
portant than enforcing the laws, or why thousands of Indians should suffer to 
please 'four interested persons' (?). Arch. Arzob., MS., v. pt ii. 17. 


■which, coming from the government, must be obeyed.^ 
He asked advice, but if any was given it is not of 
record. Perhaps it occurred to governor and diputa- 
cion as a plausible plea that the friars were serving 
practically as curates, and might be regarded as the 
curates provided for by the law. At any rate, the 
decree was not obeyed ; and not only was the regla- 
mento continued in force in the sixteen missions, but 
its provisions were soon extended, as we shall see, to 
the other five establishments. 

On May 25th Chico issued an edict intended to pre- 
vent the frequent desertions of mission Indians.* In 
his speech of the 27th he devoted more attention to 
the missions than to any other topic, and in their 
condition he found nothing to encourage a hope of 
their escape from utter ruin. His predictions, found- 
ed on the character and actions of Indians, majordo- 
mos, and padres, were accurate enough; though his 
views of the actual condition were exaggerated.^ Be- 
fore he had occasion to develop further his views and 
policy, he was called to the south ; and there occurred 
a controversy with the friars in June with which the 
reader is already familiar.® Chico deemed himself 
neglected and insulted by the padres Jimeno at Santa 
Inds, and was subsequently much offended at Duran's 
refusal to cooperate with religious service in the swear- 
ing of the constitutional bases at Santa Bdrbara. 

One of Chico's grounds of complaint being that the 
padres at Santa Ines had refused to aid him on his 
journey with animals and other supplies, he called 
upon Duran to state clearly whether he recognized 
the obligation of unsecularized missions to furnish 
such supplies. Duran's reply, dated June 15th, was 
an elaborate and able argument, to the effect that no 

' Chico, Discurso. . .S7 rle Mayo, 1S36. 

*May 25, 1836, Chico'a edict. Circulated in south in June and July. 
Dept. St. Pap., Aug., MS., ii. 52-4; xi. 54; Id., $. Jos6, iv. 111-12; Ilayts' 
Miss. Book, i. 297. 

5 Chico, Discurso. See also chap. xv. of vol. iii. 

*See chap. xv. of vol. iii. 


such obligation existed ; that all the aid rendered by 
the missions for sixteen years past had been lent as a 
matter of A^oluntary courtesy; that the government 
had no right whatever to the mission propertj', which 
belonged to the neophytes, and could be taken for pub- 
lic uses in cases of extreme necessity only as, and even 
less easily than, other private property. In the future 
as in the past the padres would render voluntarily 
such aid as they could consistently with the needs of 
their neophytes; but they would recognize no such 
duty legall}^ They would not resume the manage- 
ment on any such terms ; and if it were proposed to 
enforce such an obligation, it would be best to secu- 
larize the remaining establishments at once.^ 

In reply, Chico declined to discuss the rights of un- 
secularized missions; but announced that he had or- 
dered the padres of Santa Inds and San Buenaventura 
to surrender the property of their respective missions 
to J. M. Ramirez and Cdrlos Carrillo as comisionados. 
This he made known June 23d to the junta, explain- 
ing his reasons, and declaring it impolitic to leave the 
control of such property to subjects of a hostile na- 
tion.^ The junta on June 29th-30th, having as yet 
no quarrel with Chico, or rather not unwilling to pro- 
voke one between Chico and the friars, approved his 
action;' and the secularization of the two southern 
missions went into effect immediately. Chico had an- 
nounced his intention of secularizing San Miguel as 
soon as he could find a suitable jierson to take charge; 
and accordingly, on July 14th, Ignacio Coronel was 
named as the comisionado.^° 

' Dtiran, Carta al Gob'' Chico, en que mega la obligacion ch !as Misiones de 
auxiliar al Gohienw, 15 de Junto, 1S36, MS. 

8 June 23, 1836, Chico to junta. St. Pap., Miss, and Colon.,.'MS., ii. 3G8- 
73; Vcdlejo, Doc., MS., xxxii. 24. 

^Leg. Rec., MS., ui. 23; St. Pap., Miss, and Colon., MS., ii. 3S4-6; Va- 
llejo, Doc, MS., xxxii. 30. 

^oCoronel, Doc, MS., 189. Sept. 30th, P. Moreno to Capt. Guerra. Says 
that all the property had been distributed to the Indians, except a little 
grain. Guerra, Doc, MS., vii. 4. There were troubles with P. Abella about 
rendering accounts. Carrillo {J.), Doc, MS., 37. 


Two missions only were now left in their original 
condition. Chico, by reason of political troubles, was 
unable to proceed with the work of secularization, but 
that work was undertaken before the end of the year. 
In November the diputacion, or congress of Califor- 
nia, ordered the padre at San Jos6 to turn over the 
property to Jesus Vallejo as comisionado, and the 
transfer was effected in December." The order in the 
case of Santa Clara, the last mission secularized, was 
issued by Vallejo as comandante general December 
27th, and the comisionado, Jose Ramon Estrada, did 
not take possession probably until the beginning of 
.1837.^^ It would appear that most of the men put 
in charge of missions in 1836, after performing their 
duties as comisionados, became majordomos, and thus 
retained their places. The term 'administrator' is 
often used in speaking of them and the others; but 
no such office existed before 1839. 

During the years 1837-8, the attention of the au- 
thorities being fully occupied with political affairs, and 
with the struggle to keep themselves in power, there 
was no change introduced or attempted in the mission 
regulations.'^ Cdrlos Carrillo had no distinctive mis- 
sion policy so far as can be known ; but though repre- 
senting southern interests, Don Cdrlos was supported 
by the Zacatecanos of the north — or at any rate, their 
prelate recognized him as governor;'* while the Fer- 
nandinos of the south, as represented by President 
Duran, favored Alvarado's cause.-'^ They also con- 

"Nov. 29, 1836, order of dip. Arch., Sta B., MS., ix. 143-4; xi. 114. 
Dec. 10th, possession taken. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxii. 89f. Jan. 15, 1837, in- 
ventory. Id., XKxii. 64; St. Pap., Miss., MS., vii. 49-51. 

1- Dec. 27, 1S36, V. to Estrada. Vallejo, Doc, MS., iv. 45. There had 
perhaps been some previous action by the dip. 

'^ Feb. 15, 1837, Alvarado, in a circular to those in charge of missions, 
calls for careful balance-sheets and inventories for a general settlement. 
Vallejo, Doc, MS., iv. .^7. 

" Dec. 14, 1837, P. Moreno to the padres. He also says there is a prospect 
of their return to the college, since the question of ceding Cal. to a foreign 
power, ' which God forbid,' is being considered in Mexico. Arch. Obispado, 
MS., 59. 

'* Alvarado and Vallejo, in their histories, claim that Duran made an ear- 
nest but unsuccessful effort to obtain from the governor, in reward for the 


sented to take the long-delayed oath in support of the 
constitution, now that Spain had recognized Mexican 
independence; and the Zacatecans were also wiUing to 
take the oath, being Mexicans.^^ There is some evi- 
dence that in 1838-9, Vallejo agitated the project of 
founding a new line of four or five frontier missions in 
the east and north, particularly one at Santa Rosa; 
but the Zacatecan friars, who were requested to un- 
dertake the work, declined/'^ 

I have remarked that the essential conditions for 
carrying into effect wisely the reglamento of seculari- 
zation did not exist in California, and that failure was 
inevitable. If otherwise there had been a possibility 
of partial success, it disappeared with the outbreak of 
Alvarado's revolution in 1836, or rather with the sec- 
tional opposition to Alvarado's rule in the following 
years. A wise and honest administration of the ruis- 
sion interests, difficult under the most favorable cir- 
cumstances, became impossible during the .struggles 
of rival political factions. Since 1810 the missions 
had been obliged to make up in one way or another 
the large deficiency of revenue for expenses of the gov- 
ernment, civil and military; and of course they had 
to do this still, now that a large portion of the mission 
property had by secularization been set apart as a pub- 
lic fund. That any ruler struggling to maintain his 
power should not have drawn on that fund without 
limit would be too much to expect of political human 
nature in any country or any age. The government 
had rights as had the Indians; but as usual in earlier 
and later times, the rights of the natives were practi- 

friars' support, an agreement to suspend secularization, and restore the mis- 
sions to their former condition. 

"July S, 1837, Duran to Alvarado. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x.'cxii. 96. July 
25th, Moreno to A. Arch. Ai-zob., MS., v. pt ii. 18. 

" Mar. 19, 1839, P. Quijas to V. Will undertake a mission at Sta Rosa 
If P. Gouzalez consents. Vallejo, Doc, MS., vi. 325. May Mth, V. to Alva- 
rado, urging importance of the Sta Rosa mission. /(/., vi. 65; Dept. St. Pap., 
MS., iv. 255. General account of the proposition to found missions in the 
Tulares, San Joaquin, etc. Vallejo, Hist. (JaX., MS., iv. 62-70; Alvarado, 
Hist. Cal., MS., iv. 151-3. 


cally disregarded. The demands for supplies were more 
frequent and larger than ever before; and the produc- 
tiveness of the mission estates was largely diminished. 
In ordinary' times of public tranquillity, it would have 
been difficult to select twenty-one men qualified to ad- 
minister honestly and judiciously the estates under 
the careful supervision of higher authorities. Now 
not only there could be no such supervision, and the 
majordomos and administrators were, like other classes, 
affected by the prevalent controversies; but, worse 
still, these positions, the only ones of value at the gov- 
ernor's disposal, had to be bestowed as rewards for 
political support, with slight regard for the fitness of 
ap]5licants or acts of incumbents. Add to these diffi- 
culties the prevalent demoralization of the Indians for 
several preceding years, old age and peculiar tempera- 
ment of the friars of San Fernando, and the character 
of the Zacatecanos, and the reader might easily pre- 
dict the result. 

All happened exactly as might have been antici- 
pated. All writers and witnesses, both Californian 
and foreign, who mention the subject, are unanimous 
in describing Alvarado's rule, from 1836 to 1842, as 
a period of plunder and ruin in mission history. So 
uniform is their testimony, that there is no need to 
cite individual expressions of opinion, though of course 
there is no lack of exaggeration for and against per- 
sonal friends and foes of the writers who chanced to 
take some part in secularization.^^ The methods of 

"Of my statements in manuscript on the condition of the missions, I cite 
the following: Bandini, Hist. Cnl., MS., S'lr-g, 84-5; Alvarado, Hint. Cat, 
MS., iii. 103-4, 214; iv. 5-7, .35, 54-61, 160-7, 191-.3, 219-20; Vallejo, Hkt. 
Cat, MS., ui. 3G0-93; iv. 14-25, 83-5; Coroncl, Cosas de Cal., MS., 34-5, 
21G, 224-5; Torre, Remin., MS., 80-3; Serrano, Apunten, MS., 59-61, 170-G; 
Amador, Mem., MS., 9-1.3, 147-8; Vallejo (J. J.), Remin., MS., 40-1, 62-3; 
Cam ,. U.'.-hn,, MS., 57-73; Ord, Ocurrencvis, MS., 102-3, 118-20; Botcllo, 
,ly-,/„-, ,, ^!-.., 42; Avila, Corns de Cal., 'Ml^., 1^-5; Gonzalez, Experiencias, 
Jis.. :;,!; ,/ , ,„ Cf^ar, Cosas de Indios, MS., 1-8; Pico, Acont., MS., 24-25; 
/(o/,sNM,x, v;.ia, MS., 164-8; Marsh's Letter, MS., 8-9; Robinwn's Statement, 
MS., l3-7. The follo'wiug foreigners have also given attention to the deca- 
dence of the missions at this time, in printed works: Mofras, Exploration, i. 
272, 297, 303, 321-2, .343, 347, 300, 390, 410-11, 420-1; Petit-Thouars, Voy- 
age, ii. 80-108; Wilhcs' Narrative, V. 179-93; .BdcAer's Foy., i. 117-18, 32(J; 
Hisi. Cai,., Vol. IV. 1 


mission spoliation at this period were substantially as 
follows: The governor, and subordinate officials by 
his authorit}^, used the cattle and grain of the mis- 
sions as freely as they used the revenues from other 
sources. If the government contracted a debt to a 
trader, the governor gave in payment an order on any 
mission for wheat, tallow, or hides, just as he would 
draw a check on the treasury. The majordomo, be- 
ing an employ d of the government, obeyed the or- 
der as a rule whenever the articles called for existed 
at his mission. There were occasional refusals and 
pleas in behalf of the Indians, but of course these 
pleas were much less frequent and zealous than those 
of the friars in earlier times. How far, if at all, be- 
yond the limits of strictly public expenses the depart- 
mental authorities went in their drafts upon mission 
property, it is hard to saj^. The most extravagant 
and sweeping charges are made of a deliberate plun- 
der and distribution of the spoils by Alvarado among 
his friends ; but no proofs are presented, the charges 
have always been denied by Alvarado and urged 
mainly by his enemies, and they are probably false. 
One charge, however, is supported by evidence in the 
archives and by the governor's own admission, namely, 
that of having authorized loans of mission cattle to 
private individuals, on the condition that a like num- 
ber of animals should be returned later. Alvarado had 
certainly no right to make these loans; but he de- 
fends his action on the ground that he had no other 
means of rewarding men for patriotic services to the 

La Place, Voynrie, vi. 193-4; Robinson's Life in Pnl, K'T-S; raproii's Hist. 
Co?., 32-6; and others. I may also cite here a- ii:-' it- ly as elsewhere 
the following works, which touch in a general v^.\ 1 1, . ;! ,. . t of seculariza- 
tion, gi-ring sketches more or less complete of t lie mi . < .--... uu.isures adopted, 
■with something of results and theories. Some ul llii; wuiks iire quoted else- 
where as authorities on certain points; the rest require no more than this men- 
tion. Hail'K /list. S. Josf, 430; Haxoes' Missions of Co/., passim; Gkfson's 
Hut.Caik. Churrh,\. 113-14; ii. 1 IT-S."; //«)/»■.-' Le<,at IHkI. S. /)iV-/o,MS., 

i. no. 56, 60; ^a«(/'./, ',-. 'v ,'■- , r ' ' //\'. f ■ ''.. 1.":^^; r' :■'•. //;<,■<. 

Cal, 126; Farnham< ' ' , >! .: ;" -' -: /' ', La 

Col., 54r-6; Cronise'^y i! I ■ IT. .; , ■ .J/ , n. '2.30- 

62; California, Past. .'■,-. -. , ;, , ,;n i; /, , , . ., ' ,, , a..-l rru,,.. 3i>41; 

Magllano's St Francis, 5S3-J; Jh>li,id-i, Li t\.l., 17S-S0. 


country, often involving the loss of their own property 
and neglect of all their private interests. The worst 
feature of these transactions was that in nine cases 
out of ten the loans were never repaid to the mis- 

As to the comisionados, majordomos, and adminis- 
trators who successively managed the missions, many 
were simply incompetent and stupid, exhausting their 
little energy and ability in the task of collecting their 
salarj', filling the governor's orders so long as the 
granaries and herds held out, exercising no restraint 
or influence on the ex-neophytes, and allowing the 
affairs of their respective establishments to drift — - 
not, as may be imagined, in the direction of general 
prosperity. Others were vicious as well as incompe- 
tent, always ready to sell any article of mission prop- 
erty, not only live-stock, but kitchen utensils, farm 
implements, tools from the shops, and tiles from the 
roofs, for money with which to gratify their propen- 
sity for gambling. Still others were dishonest and 
able, devoting their energies to laying the founda- 
tions of future wealth for themselves and friends, op- 
pressing the Indians, quarrelling with such padres, 
officials, and assistants as they could not control or 
deceive, and disposing of the mission wealth without 
scruple, for their own interests. Finally, there were, 
I suppose, some honest, faithful, and tolerably effi- 
cient managers, who did as well as was possible under 
difficult circumstances. Every narrator names a few 
of his relations or friends as exceptions to the general 
rule of rascality and incompetence; and thus it would 
be easy to find authority of this kind for classing 
nearly all the administrators at will with the good or 
bad. It is wisest not to attempt any classification, 
and to cite no individual accusations liere; though I 
may find it necessar}^ to make some slight use of such 
material in the preparation of biographical sketches. 

Of the padres, a few accepted the new situatiou 
and made the best of it, striving to reconcile discord- 


ant elements, retaining a degree of influence over 
the Indians, for their spiritual and temporal welfare, 
and ever ready to aid with their counsel any person 
high or low in station who would listen. Friars of 
another temperament, soured and disappointed, retired 
sullenly to the habitations assigned them by law, 
avoided all controversy and intercourse with the 
Avorld, and mechanically performed the duties of par- 
ish priests for all who made application. Others 
assumed a belligerent attitude, quarrelled with every- 
body, and protested against everything on every pos- 
sible occasion — too often with ample cause. And 
there were doubtless several of the Zacatecanos who 
looked only to their own comfort, and made them- 
selves heard only in opposition to such rascalities as 
tended to interfere with their selfish pleasures. Rarely 
was a padre insulted or subjected to any hardship, 
and as a rule they wei^e as comfortably situated as 
any in California, being highly respected and most 
kindly treated by all classes. Secularization had been 
no wrong to them, or to their order, or to their church. 
Finally, I come to the Indians — the real victims, as 
they always have been in their contact with civilized 
peoples, and as they always will be, until religion, 
philanthropy, common sense, justice, honesty, power, 
social science, and a variety of other ingredients more 
or less unknown shall in some community have been 
blended in proportions and conditions hitherto unheard 
of, and respecting which I have no recipe to offer. In 
some instances the ex-neophytes, or a majority of their 
number — from force of habit, inherent stupidity, or 
influence of the padres — were kept together and at 
work much as in former years. Let us hope that the 
souls of the living and of those that were dead had 
been saved in large numbers; but in no respect liad 
the mission system left them better qualified to per- 
form the duties of citizenship than in 17G9. Those to 
whom property was distributed, as a rule made no 
good use of it. The cattle required care; the tools 


implied work; and it was generally deemed best to 
convert all as rapidly as possible into liquor, steal cat- 
tle and various articles as needed, and when all was 
gone, and tlie vigilance of local alcaldes interfered with 
the pleasures of a vagabond life about the towns, to 
decide between a return to mission labor or flight to 
join the gentiles. Pilfering and drunkenness increased 
rapidly, as did the ravages of syphilitic disease, and 
relapse to barbarism.. At the missions but little at- 
tention was paid to the welfare of the ex-neophytes, 
v/ho were practically regarded as slaves, and often 
most cruelly treated. The large numbers hired out 
to rancheros and town people as servants were per- 
haps more comfortably situated than any of the rest. 
Yet such was the inherent stupidity of the native 
Californian character that no great revolts or outrages 
have to be chronicled. Thousands toiled patiently on 
year after year, and the evidence is but slight that 
any great number realized that their lot was a hard 

Besides the testimony of writers, native and for- 
eign, respecting the condition of the missions in 1836- 
9, as represented in the preceding paragraphs, I might 
cite a large number of items more or less confirmatory 
from the archives — contemporary orders, complaints, 
accusations, and correspondence of departmental offi- 
cials, administrators, alcaldes, padres, and even neo- 
phytes; but for such items, and for some fragmentary 
statistics that might serve a similar purpose, to avoid 
needless repetition, I refer the reader to the chapters 
on local annals of the missions for this period, append- 
ing here only a few notes of a general rather than a 
local nature.'^ 

" 1S36, representation signed 'Cuatro Yudigenas,' in -wliioh the friars are 
chided for giving up the mission property, and urged to defend the rights of 
their wards. Arch. Sta B., MS., ix. 21D-20. Jan. 8th, P. Moreno to Castro. 
Cannot understand wliy officers coming from Mexico, where all have to pay 
their way, should want evei-ything free iu Cal., and treat the Ind. as slaves. 
St. Pap., Miss., MS., x. 7. March 24th, PP. Duran and Jimcno to gov. 
Protest that they have no wish to interfere in mission govt. Id. , x. 7. March 
2Sth, Francisco M. Alvarado argues that Ind. cannot be controlled except by. 


The responsibility and blame for the spoliation of 
the missions during this period must of course be 
borne to a certain extent by Alvarado and his asso- 
ciates in power, though the statement, more or less 
current since, that the missions were plundered by 
Alvarado, Vallejo, Castro, and their party, must be 
accepted with much allowance. Not onl}^ is it not in 
proof that the leaders profited personally by the spo- 
liation, but the inherent dangers of secularization, 
and the political difficulties which surrounded those 
leaders, must be considered. Had Mexican rulers 
continued in power, or had Alvarado's Californian 
rivals triumphed over him, there is no reason to be- 
lieve that mission affixirs would have been in any re- 
spect better managed. The disastrous result was due 
more to circumstances beyond the control of the gov- 
ernor than to any lack of wisdom or honesty on his 
part. Moreover, I have yet to record some earnest 
if not very successful efforts by Alvarado to check the 
torrent of disaster. 

On the 17th of January, 1839, Alvarado issued a 
new series of regulations for mission management, not 

flogging; that masters have to use the same methods as administrators; and 
that he ought not to have to pay the fine of §75 imposed ouhim for whipping 
his lud. servant. Hayes' Miadon Book, 339. April 16th, Pio Pico claims that 
the missions are in good condition, except that the Ind. haveljecome bad and 
■will not work. Vallejo, Doc, MS., iii. 192. July 1st, Pico still protests 
against the current calumnies on the management of missions. Si. Pap. , Hiss. , 
MS., xi. 54^5. July 4th, Alvarado declares the friars still long for temporal 
power. Vallejo, Doc, MS., iii. 218. 1837, March 9th, Alvarado speaks of 
the missions as stores of supplies which the govt, may use to buy vessels, and 
other purposes. Id., iv. 212. March 12th, Carlos Carrillo to \'allejo. The 
gov. beset with iietitions for administrators' piisiti. ;, Ti laiit all, the 
missions would have to be extended to Cape ILn,. _ :. June 26th, 

Vallejo makes a rule that rancheros must pay hah .'. '-. l ..Jujiers' wages, 
$2 per month, to the missions. Id., iv. 258. 18o.s, i'^b. luJi, young Ind. 
distributed among private indiriduals by authority of CaiTillo as gov. Hop- 
kins' Traiislations, 8. May 1st, Vallejo writes, ' I believe in order to get rid 
of the rascally administrators the missions will be given back to the friare; 
and then that " ronda de cabrones " may go and rob the devil.' Vallejo, Doc. , 
MS., xxxii. 131. Jime, the administi-ators should be made to render accounts 
and pay their debts. They do nothing but rob. Jd., xiv. 24. Sept. 19th, 
Alvarado has ordered that half the means of the 3 northern missions 1)C put at 
Vallejo's disposal for the relief of the army. Id., v. 177. May 11, 1839, Va- 
llejo to Virmond. Some missions have suffered, others advanced. The friars 
aim to get hack all they had in 1820; but their pretensions wUl not be listened 
to. Id., vii. 60. 


modifying essentially Figueroa's reglamento, but sup- 
plementary, and designed to secure a faithful perform- 
ance of duty by the administrators, so called in the 
document,^" of which I append the substance in a note.^' 
It was little more than a restriction of jaowers which 
the administrators had assumed, and a requirement 
that strict accounts be rendered of mission manage- 
ment in all that affected the disposition of property. 
To obtain these accounts for past years was a hopeless 
task, notwithstanding the governor's orders ; but there 
was certainly room for reform in the present and future. 
For the position of visitador de misiones, or in- 
spector, provided for in the reglamento for its own 
proper enforcement, Alvarado made a very good selec- 

'°I know of no legal authority for the use of the term, unless its use in 
this Jocument may be considered such. In Figueroa's regiameuto comision- 
ados and majordomos only are provided for, and there was no subsequent law. 
It had become customary, however, to speak of the majordomos as adminis- 
trators in pi-ivate, and more rarely in official, correspondence; and now Al- 
varado 's use of the tei-m gave it a sort of legality. 

^^ Alvarado, Reglamento Provisional para Administradores de Misiones, 17 
de Enero, 1S39, MS., in Dept. St. Pap., S. Josi, v. 52-5; Id., Mont., iii. 
09-75; Arch. Sta B., x. •205-12; translation in HallecTc's Peport, 155-6; 
Dwi)ielle's Col. Hist., add., 55-6. In the preamble the gov. speaks of the 
'pitiful state' of the mission estates since the so-called secularization, on 
account of the unlimited powers of the administrators and their ignorance of 
their true relations to the govt. Art. 1-3. All who are or have been adminis- 
trators must present their accounts to the govt, at once, down to end of 
1S3S. Art. 4. Admin, are to render also a detailed account of the debts and 
credits of each mission. Art. 5-7. They shall not, without the order of the 
govt, contract or pay any debts, or slaughter any cattle beyond what is 
necessary for the maintenance of the Indians and ordinary consumption of 
the house. Art. 8. The traffic of mules and horses for woollen stuffs now 
practised (the New Mexican trade) is absolutely prohibited; and instead, the 
looms must be started. Art. 9. A monthly report must be rendered of all 
produce stored or distributed. Art. 10. Admin, must build during this 
year, at cost of the establishment, dwellings for themselves so as to vacate 
their present quarters. Art. 11. No gente de razon must be allowed to set- 
tle at estab. where the Ind. remain in community. Art. 12. A classified 
census of all inhab. to be formed at an early date. Art. 13. S. Ciirlos, S. 
Juan Bautista, and Sonoma are not included in the provisions of this regula- 
tion, except that accounts of past management must be rendered. Art. 14. 
An account of all salaries paid to employ i5s or padres must be rendered; and 
salaries must not be paid in live-stock. Art. 15. Admin, to obey strictly aud 
send the required infoi-mation within a month. Art. IG. The govt, will issue 
further regulations on police, etc., as needed. ^Vrt. 17. The govt, will ai>- 
point a visitador, with a salary to be paid from the estates, tu suiii-iiuti.i.d 
the carrying-out of this regulation. 2Sth, .V. eniiiplaiiis tu A'alk i* iliat 
certain military officers, who had been adininistratms, sliowi-d uo .«i_iis uf 
complying with the reglamento by rendering accounts. I'allrjo, JJoc, ilS. 


tion in the person of W. E. P. Hartnell, an old Eng- 
lish resident and naturalized citizen. He had been at 
first a merchant and later a teacher; and though now 
in reduced circumstances, was an intelligent, popular 
man, with a good reputation for honesty, which he 
maintained during the two years that he held this 
office. Hartnell was appointed January 19th; and 
his salary of $2,000, to be paid pro rata by fifteen mis- 
sions according to their wealth, was to run from the 
25th.''^ By his instructions issued on April 24th, he 
was required to make a tour of inspection, and besides 
being authorized to systematize the mission adminis- 
tration in a general way, according to the reglamento, 
he was empowered to hear complaints and to intro- 
duce minor reforms according to his judgment.-^ 
The new reglamento, the instructions, and the choice 

"Jan. 19, 1839, appointment. Dept. JRec, MS., x. 2, 8, 11; St. Pap., 
Miss., MS., vii. 19; Vallejo, Doc, MS., vi. 474. The assignment of the sal- 
ary, showing the relative wealth of the different establishments, was as fol- 
lows: S. Buenaventura, Sta Bdrbara, Purisima, S. Luis Obispo, S. Miguel, S. 
Antonio, and S. Eafael, ^0 each; S. Francisco, §75; S. Luis Key and S. Ga- 
briel, §1.50; S. Fernando and Sonoma, $200; Sta In^s and Sta Clara, §250; 
and S. Jos(5, §300. Of course, however, past burdens were taken also into 
consideration, as -well as wealth. Mrs Hartnell, Narrativa, MS., 3-4, tells 
us that her husband accepted the place chiefly to please Alvarado, since it 
involved much annoyance and little profit. Alvarado, HUt. Cal., MS., iv. 
144-5, speaks of the opposition to Hartnell from administrators, Zacatecan 
padres, military officials, and rancheros, rendering his position no sinecure. 
March 9th, Hartnell's appointment announced to achnin., with orders to 
recognize his authority. Vallejo, i)oc.,_MS., vi. 295. 

^^ Alvarado, Instniccinnes que deberd observar el Sr Visitador D. Guilhrmo 
E. Hartnell en. hi. in-'^peccion de los EstaMeeimientos de las mkiones de la Alia 
CaVih'r: ■.,. . ■■.'^ .tr.-il. 1S30, MS.; Halleck's Report, 156-7; Hayes' Legrd llhl. 
S.i-K' : . ] ..' . \-. 17-19. His duties were in substance as follows: Art. 1. To 
metliii . . .:,- 1 , I .. ;■ uf accounts and reports, instructing the admin. Ai-t. 
2. To liuikt i.ii iii\ L.itory of property at each mission. Art. 3. To have an 
assistant at a reasonable compensation. Art. 4. To show the laws to each 
admin, and explain the object of his visit, so as to avoid pretexts for not 
obeying. Art. 5. To remedy actual and urgent needs reported by admin., 
using mission produce for tliat purpose. Art. 6. To decide respecting com- 
plaints of padres and employes against admin., and to promote harmony be- 
tween all classes. Art. 7. To enjoin upon admin, all po.ssible economy so as 
to promote the increase of the estates. Art. 8. To regulate the weekly and 
annual slaughter of cattle in such a manner that the live-stock may not de- 
crease. Art. 9. To recommend to the admin, to treat the Ind. kindly, inflict 
but moderate punishments, and see that they attend faithfully to their reli- 
gious duties. Art. 10. To report to the govt any failure of the admin, to 
perform their duties, and even to suspend them temporarily from office if 
necessary. Art. 11. To be diligent, to collect all kinds of information, and 
to make suggestions for the formation of police regulations. 


of a visitador all seem to have been wisely planned, 
even if the reader may decide in advance that these 
measures were not likely to reform all existing abuses. 
President Duran approved them, though in a tone sug- 
gestive of doubts respecting success.^* In May the 
visitador went south to begin his tour of inspection. 
Thence proceeding northward, he visited one after 
another every mission from San Diego to Sonoma, 
though in several of them, as we have seen, he was not 
authorized to interfere officially. His original diaries 
and blotters of correspondence for this tour and another 
made the next year are in my possession — a most val- 
uable historical record, contributed to my collection by 
Doiia Maria Teresa de la Guerra de Hartnell, widow 
of the writer.^® By the end of June the inspection 
had been completed as far north as San Buenaventura ; 
in July the missions from Santa Bdrbara to San Luis 
Obispo were inspected; August saw the work done at 
San Jos^, and the promulgation of an order forbidding 
the hiring-out of Indians away from the community, 
except with special license from the government j'^® 

^*JIay 13, 1839, Duran to Alvarado, thanking him for the instructions 
to Hartnell. Of late has heard few complaints against the admin. , which fact 
leads him to suppose the Ind. to be very long-suQering or the adrain. very con- 
siderate. Regrets that H. was not definitely instructed to insist on the pa- 
dre's power of coercion over the Ind. in the matter of prayers and other re- 
ligious obligations. Some admin, had gone so far as to threaten to remove 
the clappers from the bells to prevent summoning the Ind. to recite the rosario. 
Arch., Misiones, MS., ii. 881. 

-'' Hartnell, Diario y Borradores de las dosvisitas que en 1839-40 Mzo el Vis- 
itador Gen. de Misiones en Alta California, MS., 100 p. This manuscript, 
which unfortunately is not quite complete, contains a daily journal or diary 
of the two visifaa; blotters of letters addressed by H. to other persons in his 
official capacity; indices of commun. received, with mention of their purport; 
and the general report of the first tour in 1839. A few leaves are missing in 
each of the 4 parts; but the losses are so scattered as not to impair greatly the 
historical value of the record. Besides these documents, there is much cor- 
respondence respecting H. 's tours scattered in different archives, particularly 
in Arch. 3Iiss., MS., torn, ii.; Dept. St. Pap., Miss., MS., tom. vii.-xi.; and 
Pico, Pap. de Miss. , MS. Slore particular references may be found in local 
annals given in later chapters. 

26 Aug. 22, 1839, Acting Gov. Jimeno to H. Vallejo, Doc, MS., viii. G2. 
This is a copy, and possibly a forgery. J. J. Vallpjo on Sept. 4th, however, 
seems to allude to a circular, forbidding the admin, to use the Indians for 
their own work. Id., viii. 77. Alvarado, IliM. Cat., MS., iv. 12G-7, mentions 
as the reason for issuing the order that an old Indian of S. Juan Capistrano, 
let out to a ranchero, stole a horse and came to Monterey to complain of ill 


September sufficed to conclude the visita; and by Octo- 
ber 12th Hartnell's report was completed, though at his 
office in Monterey he continued to attend to the duties 
of his position during the rest of the year. The records 
of this inspection, to which I have already alluded, 
though voluminous, are almost exclusively devoted to 
local matters, none of them of sufficient importance to 
require attention here. Hartnell's observations, in the 
aggregate, tend to confirm in most respects, and to re- 
fute in none, the conclusions expressed earlier in this 
chapter. Everywhere complaints were heard, which 
in most instances proved well founded. There is no 
i-eason to doubt that much good was effected, though 
it is to be feared that the reforms introduced were 
not very thorough or permanent, to say nothing of 
the fact that they were for the most part but a put- 
ting-up of the bars after the cattle had escaped. At 
most establishments Don Guillermo left the discordant 
elements temporarily somewhat more tranquil than 
before; but he was an easy-going man, not disposed 
to quarrel when controvers)^ could be avoided. In his 
report he simply presented the state of affairs at each 
mission; but made no general suggestions for reform. 
I shall have occasion to refer a little later to his sta- 

In consequence doubtless of Hartnell's reports, 
written and verbal, Alvarado, on March 1, 1840, is- 
sued a new reglamento for mission management, by 
virtue of which the administrators were replaced by 
majordomos at reduced salaries. Additional restric- 
tions were placed upon their actions; the authority 

treatment, and to ask either to be shot or to be released from his service — he 
did not care which. 

'' On June 24, 1S39, H. made a special report on the missions from S. Diego 
to S. Fernando. St. Pap., Miss., JIS., xi. 23-30. Probably other partial re- 
ports were also made. There are also extant several sets of instructions given 
by him to administrators. Id., vii. 40-2; vui. 31-2, 17-20; x. 1,3-1 1. They 
are chiefly of a local nature, when not in direct fulfilment of the reglamento; 
but articles were generally added lequiring kind treatment of the Ind., and 
fully maintaining the padres' power to insist on a strict performance of re- 
ligious duties. Statements of the debts of different missions in 1S39-40, in 
Pico, Pap. de Mm., MS., 47-51; Valkjo, Doc, MS., xx.\u. 274; xxxiii. 12. 


of the friars was increased in some respects, and the 
visitador was continued in office with a larger salary 
and augmented powers. As of the earlier regula- 
tions, I give its substance in a note.-^ Before this 

^ Alvarado, Seglamento de Ex-Misiones, 1° de Marzo, ISIfi. Printed doc- 
ument on one large sheet, with rubric signatures, iu Earliest Priiithtij: ori^ji- 
nal MS. in Vallejo, Doc, ilS., xxxiii. 30; translation in Halleck'g Ilcjiorl, 
157-60; Dvnnelle's Col. Hist., add., 57-GO. It was issued as a bando with- 
out any title. E-xperience having shown great losses and abuses iu the 
missions; the reglamento of 1S39 not having sufficed to reform the evils, ou 
account especially of excessive salaries; and it being desirable to promote 
economy and a strict administration until the supreme govt may decide what 
is best — the following is published: 

Art. 1-3. Majordomos to take the place of admin, at salaries from §180 
to S600 at different missions (specified), though the former admin, may be 
selected for the new positions. Art. 4. The office of visitador to continue, 
with a salary of §3,000. 

Duties of majordomos. Art. 5. To watch over the advancement of prop- 
erty, consultLDg the padres in difficult cases. Art. 6. To make the Indians 
work for the conmiuuity, and chastise them moderately for faults. Art. 7. To 
cufr.rce morality and attendance on religious duties among the Ind., the padres 
intervening as ijrovided by the visitador's instructions. Art. 8-9. To render 
to the vis. a monthly account of produce .stored, and a yearly one of all prod- 
ucts and cattle branded, said reports to be certified by the padres. Art. 10. 
To see that the padres lack nothing needed for their personal subsistence aud 
service. Art. 11-12. To provide every assistance, and show every attention to 
the prelates on their visits or at their fixed residence. Ai-t. 13. To furnish the 
friars all necessary aid for worship, but to invest no considerable sum for this 
purpose without permission from the govt. Art. 14. To attend to the proper 
distribution of goods among the Ind. , the padres approving the lists. Art. 
15. To obey all orders and pay all drafts coming from the govt through the 
visitador's office. Art. 16. To furnish every three months a list of articles 
most needed. Art. 17. To furnish transportation and food to persons travel- 
ling on public service, and also aid demanded by comandantes of stations, 
sending a monthly account to the vis. , that he may recoTcr the amount from 
the comisaria. Art. 18. To aid private travellers, charging for food and 
horses according to their means. Art. 19. To enforce morality among ser- 
vants and others residing or visiting at the missions; and in urgent cases to 
adopt such measures as are best adapted to preserve order. Art. 20. To use 
mission produce for the support of themselves and families without cost. 
Art. 21. To employ such servants as may be necessary for community work, 
but only natives of the establishment. Art. 22. To ask only for a clerk to 
carry on correspondence with the vis. Art. 23. To obtain from the gort, 
after a year of good conduct, etc., permission to employ such Ind. as may 
be willing on their own private work. Art. 24. To make no sale or pur- 
chase, aud to dispose of uo Ind. for the service of private persons, without 
special authority; and to slaughter no cattle except regulai'ly as ordered by 
the vis. 

Duties of the visitador. Art. 25. To make all kinds of mercantile con- 
tracts for the benefit of the missions. Art. 26. To sujiply to those cetab. 
needed ai-ticles, according to the majordomos' lists and the property on liand. 
Art. 27. To draw bills in payment of debts. Art. 28. To be the mciliu:.i of 
communication between the govt and all persons in matters relating to mis- 
sions. Art. 29. To pay salaries of employiis, watch over their perfonnaaci; 
of duties, and acting in concert with the jiadres to propose the men best 
fitted for majordomos. Art. 30. To determine the number of cattle to bo 
killed in the weekly, annual, and extra slaughters at each mission. Art. 31. 


document was published it seems to have been sub- 
mitted to the missionary presidents for approval or 
criticism, and was probably changed slightly in some 
respects to suit the friars. At any rate, Padre Duran 
expressed his views, and those not ver}' favorable, on 
the subject in a letter of January 7th to Hartnell. 
Alluding to the purely financial phases of the matter, 
he admitted that the reglamento would " close the 
doors to fraud and robbery, but also to all improve- 
ment; that the doctor was prevented from killing 
the patient, but had no power to cure him." He 
thought a trade for the benefit of a mission ought 
not to be delayed by reference to a visitador hundreds 
of miles away; and he complained that under the 
new rules — changed apparently in this respect — a 
padre could obtain nothing except articles produced 
by the mission or otlier articles purchased with the 
little left of the sinodo from the pious fund "after it 
had been passed through successive sieves by the dis- 
interested hands of the traders." Yet he and his 
friars would submit until the coming of a bishop 
should allow them to leave "these Californian lab}*- 

To form a regulation for his office, and propose such assistants as lie deemed 

General orders. Art. 32. Merchants and others having claims against 
the missions must present them with the proper vouchers to the vis., that 
the govt may determine what is best and possible in the way of settlement. 
Art. 33. As to S. Ciirlos, S. Juan Bautista, Sta Cruz, Soledad, and Solano, 
the govt will continue to regulate them accordhig to circumstances. Art. 
34. All employees and judges are free to report abuses to the govt. Art. 3."). 
The govt, having consulted the jjadres, will regulate all that relates to the 
support of worship and of the friars, either assigning a fi.\cd sum for both 
purposes, or making such other arrangement as may be best. Art. 30. All 
previous regulations and orders contrary to this are anuUed; and in cases of 
doubt the govt will decide. Art. 37. In default or temporary absence of a 
majordomo, the padre wOl take charge ad interim. 

2^ Jan. 7, 1840, Durau to Hartnell. Arch. Miss., MS., ii. 997-1000. Feb. 
lott, he writes again, expressing the opinion that the majordomos should not 
bo the creatures of the padres, declaring his purpose to limit the jDOwcrs of 
his friars, especially 2 or 3 of them, as closely as the govt had that of the 
majordomos, regretting that the northern padres had manifested oppositicm, 
and asking that the aid duo to a prelate on his visits should bo definitely ex- 
jircsscd. Id., ii. 1017. March .5tli, ho opposes any settiiig-apart of estates for 
the support of the mmistry, as it would lead to troubles. Food aud means of 
travel, with the $400 allowed by Mexico, wUl suffice. Id., ii. 993. March 


In March Alvarado issued an order to administra- 
tors to turn over their missions to the visitador, and a 
set of instructions to that officer for his second annual 
visita, which was to begin immediately at Mission San 
Jose.^" The inspection of the northern establishments, 
possibly down to Santa Ines,^^ and the operation of 
setting the new machinery in motion there was com- 
pleted before the end of June; but we have no details 
except of Hartnell's troubles at San Rafael in April, 
leading to his arrest by Vallejo, who succeeded in 
preventing the exercise of the visitador's authority at 
that mission.^-^ Early in July he was in the far south 
at San Luis Rey, where he had no end of trouble with 
Pio Pico and others, and where the transfer to the 
majordomo was not effected until August. Similar 
annoyances at other missions so disgusted him that 
finally, on September 7th, from Santa Btirbara, he sent 
in his resignation, which was accepted after his arri- 
val at Monterey. By a circular of October 6th ma- 
jordomos were ordered to communicate directly with 

24tli, Prefect Gonzalez, of the Zaoatecanos, proffers voluntary submission and 
cooperation, but prefers not to select raajordomos. The padres will exercise 
the powers granted them only when they deem it best. Id., ii. 1037-40; St. 
Pap., Miss., MS., xi. 18-22. April 17th, J. A. Aguirre writes to Hartnell, re- 
futing the charge of J. J. Vallejo, that the new reglamento was instigated by 
himself, Noriega, and Hartnell with a view to monopolize the mission trade. 
Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 114. April 20th, Duran's circular directing friars to 
suggest proper persons for majordomos, and to present any complaints they 
may have through him. Arch. Sta. B., MS., xi. 1S9-90. Aug. 20th, J. Tem- 
ple to Hartnell, insisting on the payment of old debts due him from the 
southern missions. Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 225. 

S" March 18, 1840, order to admin, to surrender missions. Vallejo, Doc, 
MS. , xxxiii. 36. A tvarado, Instrucclones que debe observar el Sr Visitador en 
su visita d las misiones del nortc, 18 de Marzo, IS40, MS. These instructions 
in 8 articles agree with the reglamento, except that at S. Jos6 some property 
was to be distributed to the oldest neophytes, and a clerk was to be put in 
temporary charge of the property. Hartnell's instructions to this clerk and 
to the majordomo at S. Jos6 are dated April 23d. St. Pap., Miss., MS., vii. 

" The missions from S. Antonio to Sta Inc^s were put nnder the new regu- 
lations at this time if at all by Hartnell, for on his return later from the south 
he passed rapidly through these establishments. Hartnell, Diario y Borra- 
dores, MS., unfortunately contains nothing of earlier date than July. Juno 
20th, J. M. Villavicencio directs Moraga not to give up the mission of S. An- 
tonio to H. (who came about that tune?), and to pay no attention to the gov- 
ernor's order. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. SI. 

^^ See chap. xx. of vol. iii. 


the government, since there was no longer any visita- 

No successor to Hartnell was ever appointed, and 
there is nothing of importance to be noted respecting 
mission management for the rest of the year; or at 
least very little is known of it. I regret to say that 
I am unable from material extant to form any definite 
idea about the general condition of the missions at the 
end of 1840 as compared with that of a year or two 
3'ears earlier. Californians generally extend the period 
of ruin and plunder several j^ears later, and attach 
very little importance practically to Alvarado's reforms 
of 1839-40, as carried out by Hartnell. I am inclined 
to think, however, that many abuses were really 
checked at this time, though the visitador's last tour 
had done little if any good, the aggregate loss since 
1836 had been large, and the outlook for the immedi- 
ate future was not encouraging. 

In a former chapter I gave some general mission 
statistics for the period of 1830-4, the last period for 
which the padres furnished data, remarking that the 
figures were much less accurate than those of former 
years.^ From scattered items in the reports and ac- 
counts of administrators and of the visitador in 1839- 
40, I am able to present for the present half-decade 
some general figures which are, perhaps, as reliable as 
those of the preceding period referred to. Of baptisms 
and burials I can make no statement, though the num- 
ber might be obtained by a tedious counting from the 
mission-books of each establishment, most of which 
are .still preserved. The neophyte population de- 
creased from 15,000 in 1834 to 6,000 in 1840; though 
the latter number would probably be reduced to 5,000 
if restricted to the Indians absolutely living in com- 
munity, and increased to 8,000 or 9,000 if extended 

^' JTarlncll, Diario, MS.; Sept. 7th, H. to gov. St. Pap., Miss., MS., xL 
IS. Oct. 6th, Alvarado's circular. Id., .x. 34. 
" See chap. xii. of vol. iii. 


to all on the registers whose whereabouts as vagrants 
or servants was somewhat definitely known. ]\Iany 
of the missions had less than 100 Indians, San Luis 
Rey with about 1,000, and San Cdrlos with less than 
30, being the extremes. In the same years cattle had 
decreased approximately from 140,000 to 50,000; 
horses from 12,000 to 10,000; and sheep from 130,000 
to 50,000. Of crops no general estimate can be made, 
but they were very greatly diminished. Inventories 
of property, made in connection with secularization, 
vary from §10,000 to $200,000; but there is no uni- 
formity in the classes of property which they include, 
church property and live-stock being often omitted, 
and the lists often including only assets in a commer- 
cial sense. The aggregate of debts was about $60,000, 
offset by claims against private parties and other mis- 
sions of equal or greater amount, but rarely paid in full. 

The number of friars serving in California was re- 
duced during this half-decade from 26 to 20. Five 
padres died — Vitoria, Martin, Fortuni, and Arroyo, 
of the college of San Fernando, and Moreno of the 
Zacatecanos — while one, Garcia Diego, left the coun- 
try in 1836, to return later. One or two attempted, 
unsuccessfully, to obtain licenses for departure. No 
new-comers made their appearance. As a rule, at 
this time, no padre was much heard of beyond the 
limits of his own establishment; though a few became 
somewhat prominent in controversies which will be 
noticed in connection with local annals. 

Padre Narciso Duran continued to be president of 
the southern missions until 1838, when he was suc- 
ceeded by Joaquin Jimeno; but in 1837 Duran had 
been made prefect, which position he held until after 
1840. Duran also held the office of vicar under the 
bishop of Sonora, except for a short period in 1838-9, 
when it was attached to that of president, and held 
by Jimeno.^^ Of the Zacatecanos in the north Padre 

'^Various communications in Arch. Arzoh., MS., v. pt ii. 19--4: Depf. 
Sec, MS., X. 36; KaHy'o.Z^oc, MS., xxxiii. 14. The exact dates of the appoint- 


Rafael Moreno was president and vice-prefect — the 
prefect being absent from early in 183G — until No- 
vember, 1838, at wliich date Padre Josd Maria de 
Jesus Gonzalez assumed the office, his appointment, 
or election, at the college of Guadalupe bearing date 
of June 19, 1837. On July 22, 1840, he was re- 
elected.^" The authority of these officials as president 
and prefect over the friars was but nominal, thougli 
there is no evidence that their wishes were not as 
fully obej^ed as in earlier times. As vicars they 
had ecclesiastical authority over the friars as acting 
parish priests;'^ and some legal powers were accorded 
them by the regulations of secularization; but they 
rarely attempted any exercise of authority in any 

Hitherto California had been ecclesiastically sub- 
ject to the bishop of Sonora, the missionary prelate 
holding the vicarship. And so it continued during 
this period; but Fray Francisco Garcia Diego y 
Moreno went to Mexico at the beginning of 1836 for 
the express purpose of effecting a change for the 
good of the people and the church, and also doubtless 
with a view to his own advancement. So successful 
was he that on September 19th of the same year 
the government issued a decree providing that the 
necessary steps should be taken for the formation of 
the Californias into a separate diocese.^' Troubles 

menta are not known; but Jimeno announced his election as president on 
Nov. 2Gth, 1S38; and Duran his assumption of the prefecture on Dec. 17, 
1S3S, and of the vicarship on Sept. 17, 1839. 

'"Appointment of Gonzalez. Arch. Obispado, MS., 60, 63; Arch. A>-:ob., 
MS., V. pt ii. 18; Arch. Miss., MS., ii. 805; Corresii. de Miss., MS., 07-9; 
Sta Clara, Parrorjuia, MS., 20, 28. 

"Oct. 18, 1839, P. Gonzalez to his friars. Has concluded to accept the 
vicarship of the northern missions from the bishop, to prevent their coming 
under the power of Duran ; though he hesitated about talcing such a step 
without authority from his college. Arch. Obispado, MS., 60-1. 

'8 Sept. 19, 1830, law in 6 articles, published in a bando of Sept. 22d. 
Arrillaga, Eecop., Jnl.-Dic. 1836, p. 101; Sup. Gort St. Pap., MS., xii. 1-2; 
Hayes' Miss. Book, i. no. 13, p. Ill; San Miguel, Pepub. Mex., 8. The new 
bishop, to be chosen by the govt from a trio suggested l)y the cabildo nietro- 
politano and proposed to the pope, to have $0,000 a year from the treas- 
ury as salary and §3,000 for first expenses. He was also to have the admin- 
istration of the pious fund. See also, on appointment of bishop, Uublan 


both in Mexico and California prevented further 
progress until June 22, 1839, when the metropolitan 
chapter chose a trio, with Garcia Diego at its head, 
and his name was duly forwarded to Rome, where 
on April 27, 1840, the necessary bulls were issued/' 
In August the approval of Pope Gregory was known 
in Mexico, and the Zacatecan friars were notified 
that such of them as might voluntarily subject them- 
selves to the bishop, no longer missionaries but doc- 
trineros, could expect no aid from their college.*" On 
September 19th Bishop Garcia Diego took the con- 
stitutional oath before the president;" on October 
4th he was consecrated by three bishops at the cole- 
giata de Guadalupe in Mexico. He announced his 
consecration, with the fact that he could not come 
immediately to California, in a letter of November 
30th, and in a pastoral letter which was put in print.*^ 
He did not reach his diocese until late in 1841; and 
it is not therefore necessary to notice here a decree 
of the government which he brought respecting mis- 
sion affairs. 

Occasional complaints scattered in the archives, 
show that the friars had some difficulty in obtaining 
the sums allowed them under the various reglamentos 
for subsistence and expenses of worship.*^ As to their 

and Losano, Leg. Mex.,iii. 194; Bustamante, Vozde la Patria, MS., xi. 4S; 
Id., Oob. Mex., i. 36. 

'= Mo/ras, Explor., i. 274-5; Garcia Diego, Carta Pastoral, ISJfl. June 
2.3, 1839, Klin, of int. to gov. of Cal. Sup. Govt St. Pap., MS., xv. 6. Aug. 
7tli, Castilleio to Alvarado. Vallejo, Doc. , MS. , xxxii. 282. 

'" Aug. 4, 1840, P. Rafael de Jesus Soria, prefect of the college of Guad- 
alupe, to the Zacatecan friars. Arch. OUspado, MS., 62; Sta Clara, Par- 
roqina, MS., 27. 

" Dept. St. Pap., Ang., MS., xii. 51. 

" Garcia Dic;io, Ciirta Pantoral que el Tlmo y pmo Sr D. Fr. Francisco 
Garcia Jlh'jo, primer Obispo de Californias dirige d las RE. PP. misioneros 
y d sus Dioresanos, antes de su ingreso al obispado. Mex. 1840. 12mo, 12 p. 
Dated at the college of S. Fernando Oct. 28, 1840. This letter is a lameu- 
tation for the ecclesiastical misfortunes of Cal. in the past; a narrative of 
the writer's appointment, including the bulls; and a protestation of his aflcc- 
tion for all iu the country and the great benefits that are to result from this 
new favor of God. It was to be read from the pulpits. Oct. 4th, Virmond 
to Munras. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 184. Nov. 30th, bishop to gov., dip., 
Gen. Vallejo, and Padre Duran. Arch. Arzob., MS., v. pt ii. 29-30; Vallejo, 
Doc, MS., ix. 330; Arch. Sta B., MS., xi. 106; iV<mt. Arch., MS., ix. 28. 

"Jan. 30, 1836, Pres. Moreno complains to gov. that the allowance of $500 
Hist. Cal., Vol. IV. 5 


stipends from the pious fund in Mexico, it is difficult 
to learn what amounts were received, though the fri- 
ars continued to draw on the fund and the traders to 
negotiate their drafts. The payments were not only 
irregular and subject to heavy discounts, but they 
were often made by the traders in articles for which 
the padres had little use." From 1834 to 1837 the 
amount paid from the fund to missionaries in Alta 
California is given as $33,464.25; and that from No- 
vember 1840"to February 1842 as $22,000; but I find 
no intermediate accounts.*^ Meanwhile the fund — ■ 
from which the government in 1837 decided to bor- 
row $60,000 to be devoted to the work of 'quieting 
the Californias'*' — remained as before in charge of a 
special junta. Andres Castillero went to congress in 
1839, with urgent instructions to have the fund placed 
at the disposal of the Californian government. Under 
no circumstances would Mexico have consented to 
such a step; but the refusal was based on the decree 
of September 19, 1836, by which the new bishop was 
to be intrusted with the administration of the estates, 
and to use the revenues in accordance with the aims 
of the founders.*^ Under this decree it does not ap- 

for church expenses has been stopped by orders to the administrators. St. 
Pap., Miss., MS., X. 8-9. April Gth, IMoreno to the padres. The allowance 
as admiuistei-ed by the majordomos is opposed to canonical law and usage. 
If they can support themselves and public worship without that allowance 
they may do so, 'dando este golpe antes que nos lo den.' Arch. Obinpado, 
MS., 58. July 9th, Duran to Gov. Chico. Complains of non-payment of the 
suras allotted. Arch. Arzob., MS., v. pt ii. 10-17. Jan. 26, March 12, 1839, 
PP. Duran, Jimeno, and Keal make like complaints; and ask that certain 
gardens, buildings, and stills be assigned instead of a fixed sum. Id. , v. pt ii. 
21-3. March 5, 1840, Duran argiies against any cession of estates for the 
support of padres or church. Arch. Miss., MS., ii. 993. 

"Arrh. Mks., MS., ii 997-1000. March 14, 1840, P. Fortuni draws for 
$2,200 due him. Guerra, Doc, MS., vi. 88. 

*» Mexico, Mem. Interior, 1838, p. 82-6. Statement of Ramirez from Sigh, 
xix. Mar. 2, 1842, in Hayes' Mission Book, i. 191. 

"April J, 1837, decree, in Arrillaga, liecop., 1837, p. 265-6. 

*' Art. G of the decree: 'The property belonging to the pious fund of Cali- 
/omias will be put at the disposition of the new bishop and of his successors, 
that they may administer it and invest it in its objects or others analogous, 
always respecting the will of the founders.' Arrillarja, liecop., 1836, p. 107. 
Aug. 7, 1839, govt decides that the deputy must not interfere in the fund. 
Dept.St. Pfip., MS., iv. 131. Same date, Castillero writes to same effect. 
VaUeJQ, Doc, MS., xxxii. 196, 282. 


pear that anything was done until the end of 1840, 
when the bishop appointed Pedro Ramirez to care for 
the city estates and Miguel Belaunzaran for those in 
the country. Garcia Diego also received from the 
fund money to pay the expenses of his journey to 

I have to conclude this chapter with Indian affairs, 
that is, the dealings of the Californians with gentile 
tribes. Minor items on this subject are, however, as 
usual left for local annals. The subject may be most 
conveniently treated in three divisions; the fii'st in- 
cludes the hostilities of gentiles and fugitive neophytes 
on the southern or San Diego frontier; the second, 
Vallejo's operations against gentile tribes north of San 
Francisco Bay, from Sonoma as a centre; and the 
third, the ravages of Indian horse-thieves in all the 
region between the two frontiers, and the expeditions 
sent out against the marauders, chiefly from the re- 
gions of San Jose and Los Angeles. The material is 
bulky enough in each division, but when duly sifted 
and digested, it results, as usual with Californian Ind- 
ian annals at all periods, in but a meagre and unsat- 
isfactory record. 

In the spring of 1836 complaints were frequent and 
loud that the Indians were committing ravages, and 
that the soldiers of San Diego, for lack of arms, sup- 
plies, and pay, could afford no protection. In January, 
J. M. Marron was attacked at the rancho of Cueros de 
Venado, but several of the attacking party were killed 
by Christian Indians. An effort to have a garrison es- 
tablished at Santa Isabel was unsuccessful. The citi- 
zens made several expeditions, in one of which seven 
Indians were killed; but it was charged that in their 
absence the soldiers committed various thefts and out- 
rages in town. Early in March, Captain Portilla 

^'Statement of Ramirez, in Sigh, xix. JIaroh 2, 1S42, suppl. 146. The 
Buins paid on account of stipends for C'al. at this time were paid to J. A. 
Aguirre. Kamlrez says he took charge on Nov. 2, 1840. 


made a fruitless raid, and on his return, his brother, 
Don Silvestre, proposed to conquer the Indians at 
his own expense, if allowed to keep prisoners as ser- 
vants. This was approved by the ayuntamiento, on 
the ground that the Indians were outlaws; but the 
result is not known, the record failing just when San 
Diego was supposed to be in the greatest peril.*' 

A year later, in April or May 1837, the Indians 
made a raid on the frontier ranchos, burning buildings 
and driving off live-stock. At the Jamul rancho the 
majordomo Leiva and three others — servants on the 
place, and perhaps Indians, though spoken of as white 
men by several — were killed, and Leiva's two grown-up 
daughters were carried away into captivity, from which 
they were never recovered. A force from the frontera, 
under Alferez Macedonio Gonzalez, pursued the foe 
into the sierra, but was defeated at a place called the 
]\Iatadero, and forced to retire with man}- wounded. 
The inhabitants of San Diego were in great terror, 
but were comforted by the protection of Captain Pen- 
hallow and his men of the Alert, and by the jsresence 
of their so-called gefe politico and general, Zamorano, 
some of wliose men had accompanied Gonzalez. Juan 
Bandini, whose rancho of Tecate was one of those 
plundered, was recalled from his political and militaiy 
achievements at Los Angeles; and the revolutionary 
army, raised to operate against Alvarado, marched 
against the savage foe. In a campaign of ten days, 
they are said to have killed several Indians, all they 
could find. Contemporary communications on this 
disaster are not numerous or complete; while versions 
from memory are voluminous and contradictory in 

"Many documents of Jan. -March, 1836, in S. Diego, Arch., M.S., 74- 
92, llo; //ai/en' MUiion Bool; i. 2SS-95, 311. There were some comiJaints iu 
July. Bandini wrote in March that much of his stock at the Tecate rancho 
had bepn stolen. Valkjo, Doc, JIS., iii. 182. 

°° Communications of local officials, April to Sept. 18.37. •*?. Diegn, Arch., 
MS., 171, 180-;i, 185, 187. May 2S)th, 31st, Zaniorano's letter to ayunt. of 
Angeles, and resulting deliberations of that body. Dcpt. St. Pap., MS., -\i. 
86-9; Lou Aiifjeles, Arch., MS., iv. 310-18. Jime"2Gth, captain and crew of the 


It was probably in 1837, during the general alarm 
arising from the massacre at Jamul, though there is 
no agreement among narrators respecting dates, that 
a plot was revealed to attack the town and kill the 
inhabitants. Indian servants were to cooperate with 
the attacking party by opening the houses of their 
employers on a given night; but one of them divulged 
the plot, and three or four of the dozen servants 
arrested were immediately shot by order of Alferez 
Gonzalez.'''^ The year 1838 was marked b}^ no hos- 
tilities that are either remembered or recorded. In 
1839 there were alarms and active preparations, on 
paper at least, for defensive movements in May, July, 
and November; but I have nothing definite about 
these troubles, except that in October the mission of 
Guadalupe across the frontier was sacked, and three 
soldiers were killed.^^ In 1840 no disturbances are 

.4 /frt credited with valuable service. Dejit. St. Pap., Anr/., MS., ii. 103-4; 
Honolulu S. I. Gazette, Dee. 2, 1837. June 27 th. Com. ArgueUo says he will 
retain the command 'unless there should be a fight!' S. Diego, Arch., MS., 
ISl. July 5th, Ind. attacked S. Diego mission and killed 3 men. Hayes' 
Miss. Book, i. 322. July 11th, alcalde of Angeles, in a circular torancheros, 
says the Ind. attacked S. Bernardo and killed 4 men (the Jamul affair?). 
Valle, Doc, MS., 45. Aug. 4th, Bandini says he killed and captured only a 
few Ind. S. Diego, Arch., MS., 185. Sejit. 16th, B. says he has lost abso- 
lutely everything, has come to Sta Birbara to sell a few jewels to get food 
for Ills family, and must eschew politics. Vallejo, Doc, MS., iv. 309. Jans- 
sens, Vida y Avent, MS., 92-7, was with Gonzalez, and gives many particu- 
lars. Lorenzana, Memorias, MS., 31^2; Machado, Tiempos Pasadon, MS., 11- 
17; and Estudillo, Dates, MS., 19-20, 27-32, give many details of the aflfair at 
Jamul, obtained from the wife of Leiva, who with a young child was allowed 
to escape. Alvarado, Hist. Cal., MS., iv. 1-3, unjustly accuses Bandini of 
claiming the honor of having killed a large number of Indians. B. makes 
no such claim, and, Hist. Cal. , MS. , 90, he says that in a second campaign 
the soldiers were defeated and several wounded. Romero, Meynorias, MS., 
3-4; and in Hayes' Emig. Notes, 494; and/(/., 'Scraps, Indians, i. 174, gives 
an account of Gonzalez's campaign, in which he served. See also mention of 
the affair with incorrect dates in Mofras, Explor., i. 336; La Place, Voy., 
vi. 194. See also Davis' Glimp.'fes, MS., 175-83. 

5' Marron, Eecuerdos, MS., 20-3, says that she overheard a conversation 
between her own and two of Fitch's servants which revealed the plot. Estu- 
dillo, Datos, MS., S-15, confirms this, and says that the cook of his own fam- 
ily was one of those shot, his fathei-, then alcalde, opposing the sumniaiT- 
proceeding. Janssens, Vid<i. MS.. l."..j-8, tells us it was Bandini's servant 
who di\Tilged the plot. Jhicli.Hln, /':• mjius Pasados, MS., 17-19, says it was 
Mrs Fitch's Indian girl that iv,_ the a:;:iin. Osio, Hist., MS., 365-7, speaks 
of Alf. Macedonio's hasty inn.recaiu-s. Pico, Hist. Cal., MS., 1S2-4, seems 
to imply that this affair was of later date by 5 or 6 years. 

'- May, 1839, preparations for a grand expedition. Ca,stro was to aid with 
120 men. Noi-esults known. Hayes' Miss. Look, i. 330; Id., Doc. Hist. Cal., 


reported. Notwithstanding the fragmentary nature 
of the records, it is evident that in all these years the 
frontier ranchos were continually ravaged by Indians, 
and that there was no security for either life or prop- 
erty. The condition of this more than any other part 
of California resembled that of the Apache frontier in 
Sonora and Chihuahua, though the loss of life was 
much less. The marauders were the gentile tribes of 
the mountains, reenforced by renegade neophytes, al- 
lied with more distant Colorado tribes, and having al- 
ways a secret understanding with Indian servants on 
the ranchos. Fortunately, of the five or six chieftains 
who commanded the tribes of that region, one or two 
were generally allied with the gente de razon and ren- 
dered valuable aid. 

Turning now to the northern frontier, we find a dif- 
ferent state of things. Here there was no semblance 
of Apache raids, no sacking of ranchos, no loss of 
civilized life, and little collusion between gentile 
and Christian natives. The northern Indians Avere 
more numerous than in the San Diego region, and 
many of the tribes were brave, warlike, and often hos- 
tile; but there was a comparatively strong force at 
Sonoma to keep them in check, and General Vallejo's 
Indian policy must be regarded as excellent and effect- 
ive when compared with any other policy ever followed 
in California. True, his wealth, his untrammelled 
power, and other circumstances contributed much to his 
success; and he could by no means have done as well 
if placed in command at San Diego ; yet he must be ac- 
credited besides with having managed wisely. Closely 

MS., 97; Dept.St. Pap., Angeles, MS., v. 15. Troubles of July- August. Va- 
Ikje, Doc, MS., vii. 393, 405; Hayes' Miss. Book, i. 336. Troubles of Oct.- 
Nov. apparently quite serious, and involving much loss of property. VaUejo, 
Doc, MS., viu. 222,230; Hayes, Doc Hist. Coi., 96, 99-101; De/,!. St. Pap., 
Ang., MS., v. 77, 102; xii. 17. In Nov. a renegade S. Diego neophyte named 
Chiva appeared under the name of Paiba with an appointment as captain-gen- 
eral of the S. Felipe rancherias on the California side of the Colorado, issued 
by the gov. of Sonora. Dcpt. St. Pup., US., v. 17-20; Id., Ang., v. 9-lr-6; Jaus- 
sens, Vida, MS., 143-5-1, gives many particulars of life on the frontier ranchos 
in these years. 


allied with Solano, the Suisun chieftain, having always 
— except whenasked to render some distasteful militaiy 
service to his political associates in the south — at his 
disposal a goodly number of soldiers and citizens, he 
made treaties with the gentile tribes, insisted on tiieir 
being liberally and justly treated when at peace, and 
punished them severely for any manifestation of hos- 
tility. Doubtless the Indians were wronged often 
enough in individual cases by Vallejo's subordinates; 
some of whom, and notably his brother Salvador, Avere 
with difficulty controlled ; but such reports have been 
greatly exaggerated, and acts of glaring injustice were 
compai'atively rare. 

The Cainameros, or the Indians of Cainamd in the 
region toward Santa Rosa, had been for some years 
friendly; but for their services in returning stolen 
horses they got into trouble with the Satiyomis, or 
Sotoyomes, generally known as Guapos, or 'braves,' 
who in the spring of 1836, in a sudden attack, killed 
twentj^-two of their number and wounded fifty. Va- 
llejo, on appeal of the chiefs, promised to avenge their 
wrongs, and started April 1st with fifty soldiers and 
one hundred Indians besides the Cainamero force. A 
battle was fought the 4th of April, and the Guapos, 
who had taken a strong position in the hills of the 
Geyser region, were routed and driven back to their 
rancherias, where most of them were killed. The ex- 
pedition was back at Sonoma on the 7th, without hav- 
ing lost a man killed or wounded. ^^ 

On June 7th Vallejo concluded a treaty of peace and 
alliance with the chiefs of seven tribes — the Indians of 
Yoloytoy, Guilitoy, Ansactoy, Liguaytoy, Aclutoy, 

^Hlarcli 28, 1836, Vallejo's orders for assembling troops. Vallejo, Doc, 
MS., iii. lOi. April 8th, report of the campaign. Td., iii. 105. Salvador Va- 
llejo commanded one divisions of the force. April 21st, Com. Gen. Gutierrez 
thanks Lieut. Vallejo and his men for their gallantry. M,iii. 193. April 24th, 
Lieut Vallejo to com. gen. Announces that Antonio and Victor Castro had 
gone to Sta Rosa in dcliance of orders to get Indians for work on their rancho 
of S. Pablo, taking besides some property, and buying some children from the 
chiefs. The Indians complained; the Castros were arrested at S. Rafael, and 
the children released. Such outrages must be prevented. Id., iii. 112. 


Churuptoy, and the Guapos — who had vokmtarily 
come to Sonoma for that purpose. The treaty pro- 
vided that there should be friendship between the 
tribes and the garrison, that the Cainameros and 
Guapos should live at peace and respect each other's 
territory, that the Indians should give up all fugitive 
Christians at the request of the comandante, and that 
they should not burn the fields. It does not appear 
that Vallejo in return promised anything more definite 
than friendship. Twenty days later the compact was 
approved by Governor Chico." A j^ear later, in June 
1837, Zampay, one of the chieftains of the Yoloytoy 
— town and rancheria of the Yolo}^ perhaps meaning 
of the 'tules,' and which gave the name to Yolo 
county — became troublesome, committing man}- out- 
rages, and trying to arouse the Sotoyomes again. 
The head chief of the tribe, however, named Moti, 
offered to aid in his capture, which was effected by 
the combined forces of Solano and Salvador Vallejo. 
Zampay and some of his companions were held at 
first as captives at Sonoma; but after some years the 
chief, who had been the terror of the whole country, 
became a peaceful citizen and industrious farmer.^" 

In January 1838 Tobias, chief of the Guilucos, 
and one of his men were brought to Sonoma and tried 
for the murder of two Indian fishermen. ^^ In March 

" FaUejo, Doc, MS., iii. 119, 217; Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Mil., MS., Ixxxi. 

^^ June 25th-26th, M. G. Vallejo to Salvador and Jesus, bis brothers. Va- 
llejii. Doc, MS., iv. 250, 256. July 26th, Alvarado thanks Salvador for his 
gallant achievement. W., xxxii. 104. Salvador Vallejo, JS'otas, //("«<., MS. , 
87-95, gives many details of the campaign. Vallejo, UiM. Cat. , MS. , iii. 230-8, 
238-9, tells us that just before this expedition he organized a company of 44 
Suisunes and Napas, armed and equipped like Slcxican soldiers, -which was 
put under the command of Lieut Sabas Fernandez and given to Solano as a 
body-guard, much to his delight. This writer also relates, /</., p. 299-304, 
that Succara, chief of the Sotoyomes, frightened at Zampay s defeat, came to 
Sonoma and made a treaty, which in 1 1 articles is given. Tliis may be a con- 
fused memory of the earlier treaty ab'cady noticed. A treaty of Dec. 1, 1837, 
with some eastern tribes, is also referred to in a letter of April 1, 1S3S. Va- 
llejo, Doc, MS., V. Co. 

^« Vallejo, Doc, MS., v. 21. The sentence is not given. 5 years in the 
chain-gang for Tobias and death for his companion were demanded by Peaa, 
the fiscal. The Guilucos were probably the natives of Guilitoy. 


some of the gentile allied tribes attacked the Moquel- 
umnes, recovered a few stolen horses, and brought 
them to Sonoma, where a grand feast was held for a 
week to celebrate their good deeds.^'' In August, 50 
Indian horse-thieves crossed the Sacramento and ap- 
peared at Soscol with a band of tame horses, their 
aim being to stampede the horses at Sonoma. Thirty- 
four were killed in a battle with Vallejo's men, and 
the rest surrendered, the chief of the robbers named 
Cumuchi being shot at Sonoma for his crimes.^^ On 
October 6th Vallejo issued a printed circular, in which 
he announced that Solano had grossly abused his 
power and the trust placed in him, and broken sacred 
compacts made with the Indian tribes by consenting 
to the seizure and sale of children. Vallejo indig-- 
nantly denied the rumor that these outrages had been 
committed with his consent; declaring that Solano 
had been arrested, and that a force had been sent out 
to restore all the children to their parents.'^^ 

In May 1838 Vallejo announced in communica- 
tions sent to all parts of the country that the small- 
pox was raging on the northern frontier, and was kill- 
ing the Indians by hundreds. The pestilence had 
come from the English settlements by way of Ross. 
The importance of vaccination, cleanliness, temper- 
ance, and other preventive measures was urged upon 

"April 1, 1S38. Valk-jo, Doc, MS., v. 65. The friendly tribes were the 
Ochejamnes and Sicomnes, acting vinder the treaty of Dec. 1837. The horse- 
stealing tribes were Moquelumnea, Sequak, Pigiiechek, Chapayasek, and Cu 

^A-ag. 3, 1 838, circular to authorities. Vntlejo, Doc, MS., v. 124. Cu 
muclu confessed that there were large droves of stolen horses on the Sacra- 
mento in charge of the Moquelunmes. It seems that the Indians at first sur 
rendered, and later made a treacherous attack, in which the 34 were killed, 
Mention also in Dept. St. Pap., MS., iv. 222. 

''Oct. Gth, Vallejo's circukr. EarlieH Print.; Vallejo, Doc, US., v. 194 
xxxii. 150; -S'. Diego, Arch., MS., 208; Dept. St. Pap., Ang., MS., x. 23. In 
his Hist. Cat., MS., iii. 329-38, Vallejo explains tliat 'certain persons' desir- 
ing to injure him brought sundry barrels of liquor to Soscol, made Solano 
and other chiefs drunk, and thus induced them to consent to the capture of 
the children, about ,S0 of whom were sold south of the bay. AH were recov- 
ered, and Solano after being sobered for a time in the calaboose was very 
penitent. Mention also in Alvarado, Hist. Cat., MS., iv. 210-17; Carrillo, 
Narrative, MS., 1-3; Fernandez, Cosas de Cal., MS., 96. 


the people; and apparently the disease did not spread 
south of the bay at this time; though in addition to 
Vallejo's circular we have no further information, ex- 
cept the statement of several Californians that the 
northern Indians perished in large numbers."" There 
is nothing to be said of Indian affairs on the Sonoma 
frontier in 1839-40, except that there are vague allu- 
sions to an expedition against the Sotoyomes; that 
during an attempted revolt of the native infantry 
company in April 1840, many of the number were 
killed in a fight, and nine were subsequently shot; 
and that perhaps one or two parties were sent out to 
aid John A. Sutter at his new establishment on the 
Sacramento." At Nueva Helvecia del Sacramento, 
Sutter found the Indians somewhat hostile, and was 
obliged several times to attack them; but he adopted 
at tlie first a wise, liberal, and careful policy. He 
made treaties of alliance with the strongest bands. 
He aided the gentiles against the Christian Indians of 
San Josd, who sometimes came to steal women and 
commit other outrages, and afforded some protection 
indirectly to the Indian horse-thieves who respected 
his animals. He therefore had no troubles of suffi- 
cient importance to be specified here.^^ 

South of the bay Indian horse-thieves — neophyte 
fugitives, as well as many still living at the missions, 
being in league with gentiles of the San Joaquin and 

6»May IS, 23, 24, 1S3S, VaUejo to authorities. Dept. St. Pap., MS., iv. 
205-6; id., Aug., xi. 103; S. Josd, Arch., MS., v. 34; Mont. Arch., MS., 
vii. 70; S., Arch., MS., 199, 202; Vallejo, Doc, MS., iii. 32; xxxii. 
134. Corporal Ignacio Miratnontes is said to have brought the disease from 
Ross. VaUejo thinks 70,000 Indians died. Two of the political prisoners 
from the south were attacked at Sonoma. VcUlejo, Hist. Uul., MS., iv. 222; 
Carrillo, Narrative, MS., 3-4; /iraawrfei, Cosns rfe Co/., MS., 48-9; Botello, 
Anales, MS., 84, 87; Alvarado, Bisl. Col., MS., iv. lGl-6; Torre, Remin., 
MS., 204. 

" VaUejo, Doc, MS., \ui. 192; xiv. 18; xxxiu. 56-7; hi. Hist. Cal, iv. 
166-8; Depl. St. Pap., MS., v. 5. 

"^Sept. 10, 1840, Sutter to com. S. Jos(5, relating at some length his pro- 
ceedings against a party of S. Jos6 Indians. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 129. 
See also Sutter's Pers. RecoL, SvUer'a Diary, and account of his establish- 
ment, in chap. v. of this vol. 


Sacramento valleys, and the latter being encouraged 
and aided by foreign vagabonds — were always busy 
and successful. Complaints were frequent, and raids 
of vengeance by citizens were equally so, the region 
of San Jos^ being the centre of operations on both 
sides.*^ Palomares, Amador, and Garcia, old Indian- 
fighters, narrate many horrible details of the expedi- 
tions of these years, in which they took part, showing 
that the culprits when captured were often treated 
with barbarous cruelty." In July 1838 the Indians 
■went so far as to sack the ranches of Pacheco and 
Sanchez near San Juan Bautista, killing one white 
man, outraging several women, burning the buildings, 
and destroying all they could lay their hands on.®^ 

In 1839 matters became worse, so far as thefts were 
concerned.^® After long preparations and much cor- 
respondence, Colonel Castro sent a large force under 
captains Buelna and Estrada against the depredators 
in June. The expedition was to the region of Kings 
River; but we know no other result than that Es- 
trada brought in seventy-seven prisoners, chiefly 
women and children." In July a party called Yoz- 
colos attacked the neophytes guarding the wheat- 

" Aug. 21, 1S36, complaints to ayunt. of S. Jos^. Dept. St. Pap., MS., iv. 
122-4. May. 1838, the Moquelumne chiefs, Sinato, Nilo, and Crispo, as 
horse-thieves. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxii. 131. July, Yozcolo, Drogo, and 
other Christians of the ranchos committing great outrages. Id., xxxii. U6. 
Aug. 1st, outrages continue, including murder and burning, as well as theft. 
Id., V. 122. Aug. 16th, Ambrosio, the Moquelumne chief, captured and shot, 
having attacked a rancho and killed one person. St. Pap. , Miss. , MS. , x. 5. 
Sept. 19th, Castro on the march with 25 men to check Ind. aggressions. 
Vallejo, Doc, MS., v. 177. Oct. 11th, exped. of 80 men sent from S. Jos(5. 
Id., V. 201. Oct. 22d, the expedition brought back 78 horses. Id., v. 211. 

^'Amador, Memoriax, MS., 29-il; Palomares, Memorlas, MS., 13-17; 
Garcia, Hcchos, MS., 74-81. 

«^ Vallejo, Doc, MS., v. 11&-17, 129; Id., Hist. Cat, iii. .378-80; HartncU, 
Narrativa, MS., 5. Sanchez's rancho had also been attacked in March 1837, 
and two Indians killed. The riflemen at Monterey insisted on receiving §2 
each before pursuing the Indians. 

^^ Feb. 24th, alcalde of S. Jos6 to gov. Has given instructions to exter- 
minate all male thieves from 10 years up, and to capture all women and chil- 
di-en. Dept. St. Pap., MS., xvii. 40-7. 

6' Correa. April to July, in Vallejo, Doc, MS., vi. 491, 114-19; vii. 74-6, 
146-9, 234, 330; Dept. St. Pap., S. Josi, MS., v. 23^; Id., Ben. Pref. yjuzg., 
iii. 3; v. 6. Estrada's expedition went far into the sierra, but was couipelled 
to return by insubordination of the troops. He had 80 men. Alf. Prado 
Mesa seems to have gone in a different direction, killing a few Indians. 


fields at Santa Clara, killing one of the number; but 
they were pursued, and the head of the leader, Dios- 
culo, or Yozcolo, was set up on a pole at the mission."^ 
In December Prado Mesa, while on an expedition 
against thieves on the Rio de Estanislao, was sur- 
prised by the foe, had three men killed, was wounded, 
as were six of his men, and lost many of his weap- 
ons."^ This disaster caused much excitement and 
alarm. The Indians "became bolder than ever, though 
early in 1840 a successful warfare seems to have been 
waged against them in different directions.™ Subse- 
quently a regular patrol was established between San 
Jose and San Juan for the protection of the ranchos. 
The records are vague and fragmentary; but the in- 
dications are that depredations continued unabated 
throughout 1840.'^ 

Farther south troubles were chief!}' with Indians 
from abroad, the Chaguanosos from the Xew j\Ioxi- 

^^St. Pap., Miss., MS., ix. 60-1; Vallejo, Doc, MS., yui. 4,41. Aug. 
21st, a party of 75 men returned to S. Jos6 from the pursuit of 11 runaways, 
of whom 2 were killed. The Moquelumnes said to have killed their cap- 
tains, who were friendly. Id., viii. 46. I have elsewliere noticed Wm H. 
Davis' version of this afiair, which he puts at an earlier date. 

6« Valkjo, Doc, MS., xxv. 249; viii. 3G8, 373, 375, 382, 394-5; S. Josd, 
Arch., MS., i. 43-46; Dept. Piec, MS., x. 17; Dept. St. Pap., Mont, MS., 
iv. 19; Dept. St. Pap., MS., iv. 28(>. One of the wounded men, Desiderio 
Briones, was left but not apparently captured. He was found seven days 
later by a party under Francisco Palomares. The three men killed were vol- 
unteer citizens, whose names are not given. 

'» Vallejo, Hut. Cal., MS., iv. 28-30, says that J. J. Vallejo repulsed the 
Indians as they approached the southern ranchos, and Lieut ^lartinez a little 
later defeated them near Mt Diablo, his report being dated Feb. 7th, and 
Marsh with other Americans rendering valuable service. Jan. 6th, Felipe 
Briones was killed on the Cerro de liolbones while trying to recover his 
horses from the Indians. Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 20. 

'"■ April 1840, gov. alarmed. Arms purchased. Honolulu Polijvenian, ii. 
90. May 16th, an exped. of 25 soldiers and 100 Ind. to start on 19th from 
S. Josfi. Vallrjo, Doc, MS., ix. 139. July, payments for service and for 
ammunition used in the Tulares. Dept. St. Pap., lien. Com. and Treas., MS., 
iv. 33-6. July 4th, patrol from S. Juan to S. J osi5, with instructions to offi- 
cers. Dept. St. Pap., MS., v. 14; Id., Mont, iii. 85-90; July 18th, every 
owner of 2horsesmust furnish one for the expedition. StaCrnz, Arch., MS., 1. 
Aug. 4th-15th, Capt. Antonio Buelna with a force of citizens made an un- 
successful raid to the two rivers. S. Josi, Arch., MS., iii. 39. Oct. 2Ist, an 
armed force of friendly Indians to start on the 25th. Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 
287. Nov. 1 1th, the expedition succeeded in killing 4 notorious horse-thieves. 
/(/., ix. 309. Nov., auxiliary force organized against Ind. to be disbanded. 
S. Josd, Arch., MS., iii. 103; Dept liec, MS., xi. 27. Dec. 29th, an Ind. 
force may be organized, and a gratuity paid. Dept. Rec, MS., xi. 54^5. 


can regions/^ Their operations hardly belong to the 
topic of Indian affairs at all. They were ostensibly 
traders, under Canadian chiefs, and in league with 
the roving bands of trappers. They were well armed, 
ready for any kind of profitable adventure or specu- 
lation, and rendered service on several occasions to 
the abajenos, both against the northern forces and hos- 
tile Indians; but they allowed nothing to interfere 
long or seriously with their regular business of steal- 
ing horses, in the prosecution of which they employed 
both gentiles and neophytes. Their greatest exploit, 
and indeed the only clearly defined one during this 
period, was the stealing of twelve hundred horses 
from San Luis Obispo in April 1840.'^ An effort was 
made at Los Angeles to pursue the culprits. Several 
parties were sent out, and one of them seems to have 
come in sight of the foe retiring deliberately and in- 
dependently M'ith the stolen animals; but the pursu- 
ers thought it imprudent to risk a conflict, especially 
when they saw that among the Chaguanosos there 
were more Americans than Indians.'* Early in 1837 
there had also been a raid on the horses of San Fer- 
nando, in defending which, unsuccessfully, two Ind- 
ians were killed. In this case also many gente de 
razon were reported among the raiders.'^ 

I find no record of extraordinary drought or flood, 
or other noticeable peculiarities of any season in 1836- 
40, except that the winter of 1838-9 seems to have 
been wet in the south.'" An earthquake was felt at 

'^Apparently the Shawnees. Called Chaguanos in the Sonorensc, April 
4, 1S.31. The name is often written Chahuanos; and they are sometimes 
spoken of as natives of Chihuahua. Mofras calls them Schaouauos. 

-=Dept. St. Pap.. Avgdes, MS., iv. 72, 88; kl, Mont., iv. 21; Id., Ben. 
Pref. yJiizrj., vi. 09-70; Dept. Pec, MS., xi. 14; Ilo/rm. Explor.,i. 379. They 
are said to have tied the mission servants, stolen saddles, etc., and threat- 
ened soon to eoraniit greater crimes. 

"May 1840, numerous details of the pursuit. Dept. St. Pap., Aug., MS., 
iv. 88-92, 97-100. 

"Jan. .3-5, 1837. Dept. St. Pap., Aug., MS., ii. 97-8. 

''.V(. Pap., Mhs., MS., viii. 4; ix. 30. Many sheep perished from S. 
Diego to Piirisima. 


Monterey April 25, 1836; and more severe tembl-.re3 
occurred from Monterey northward on June 9th and 
10th of the same year." The next shocks recorded 
were in June and July of 1838, doing some damage 
at San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Monte- 
rey.'* On January 16-18, 1840, an earthquake at 
Santa Cruz threw down several houses and the church 
tower, besides causing a wave which carried away a 
large quantity of tiles which were two hundred yards 
from the shore."' A severe shock was reported in 
Mexico as having occurred on November 30th of this 
year; but when inquiries were made by the govern- 
ment, no one could remember any such occurrence.^"' 

" Gomez, Doc, MS., 36-7; Vailejo, Hist. Cal., MS., iii. US; Suisun Solano 
Herald, Nov. 21, 186S. 

]8 Reported by Capt. Paty in Honolulu. S. I. Gazette, Nov. 17, 1838. 

'^ Monterey, Arch., MS., ix. 24. 

'^Dept. St. Pap., Mont, MS., iv. 43; SlaB. Arch., MS., 21. 




General Remarks— Statistics of Trade— New Mexican Traders — 
Otter Skins— Smctgoling—Chico's Bando — Action of California 
Congress— Vessels of 1836 — Regulations — Hawaiian Trade — Cat- 
tle Driven to Oregon by Young — Edward's Diary — Vallejo's 
Plans— Fleet and Revenues of 1837 — Carrillo's Decree— Vessels 
and Statistics of 1838 — Otter-hunting — Captain Bancroft Killed 
BY Indians— Silver for Duties — Coasting Trade to be Prohibited — 
Vessels of 1839 — Alvarado's Policy — Stearns as a Smuggler- 
Fleet OF 1840 — Officers of Custom-house andComisaria — Financial 
Administration — Distribution of Revenues — Alphabetical List of 
Vessels, 1836-40. 

General remarks on commerce and maritime affairs 
for the years 1831-5^ will for the most part apply 
equally well to the present half-decade, there being 
no radical changes either in system and methods, or in 
the amount of commercial transactions. On an aver- 
age, twenty-seven vessels were on the coast each year ; 
of which number seven were whalers, men-of-war, and 
other miscellaneous craft; so that the trading fleet 
proper consisted of twenty vessels, new arrivals being 
reduced to sixteen by the fact that four on an average 
required two years for the round voyage. All the 
vessels, without distinction sufficiently marked to re- 
quire notice, brought to California mixed cargoes of 
such articles from all parts of the world, cloths, dry 
goods, implements, hardware, groceries, as were re- 
quired for consumption in the country. So far as suck 

' See chap. xiii. of vol. iii. 


an average can be made, of the twenty vessels four 
Avere Boston ships wliich took away hides and horns; 
six loaded with hides, furs, and horses for the Hawai- 
ian Islands, much of the cargoes, except the horses, 
being reexported from Honolulu; three came from 
South America and carried away chiefly tallow; three 
were national vessels, taking tallow and miscellaneous 
produce to Mexican ports; two were vessels of the 
Russian American Company, taking grain and other 
agricultural products to Sitka; and two carried similar 
products to the Columbia River, being more or less 
directly connected with the Hudson's Bay Company. 

For the three years for which alone records are ex- 
tant, the average of total revenue from duties was 
$70,000; but the figures for 1837-8 if known would 
probably reduce that average below $60,000. Duties 
amounting generally to 100 percent, the same amount 
may be regarded as that of the regular importations; 
but it would have to be doubled at least to include 
smuggling operations. Exports could not of course 
vary much in value at California prices from imports. 
For three years the average amount of produce taken 
from San Francisco was §83,000; and the average an- 
nual export from California to Honolulu for five years 
was $46,000. Sir James Douglas of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, who visited the country early in 1841, 
and who had before enjoyed good opportunities for mak- 
ing himself acquainted with California trade, estimated 
the annual exports at $241,000, the largest item being 
$70,000 in hides.'' 

American settlers on the Columbia River purchased, 
as we shall see, some cattle, which were driven north- 
ward overland. Traders from New Mexico still came 
in caravans with woollen goods to purchase such horses 
and mules as could not more conveniently be stolen ; 
but there is little of detail in the records save what 

'Douglas^ Journal, MS., 87-8. More of this important narrative later. 
The estimate was: for S. Pedro, §100,000; S. F.. §80,000; Sta Barbara, §2,3,- 
000; Monterey, §20,000; S. Diego, §10,000; S. Luis Obispo and Purisima, 


has been already said respecting the exploits of the 
Chaguanosos.^ The Hudson's Bay Company had a 
company of trappers each year in the Sacramento and 
San Joaquin valleys, apparently with some show of 
authority from California; and free trappers in small 
parties still ranged those valleys, usually in league with 
Indian and New Mexican horse-thieves, but respect- 
ing whose movements nothing definite can be known. 
All that pertains to otter-hunting on the coast is also 
shrouded in mystery so far as details are concerned. 
We know only that Sparks with some half-dozen 
hunters was constantly at work under license on the 
lower coast and islands; that one or two trips for 
contraband hunting were made by foreign vessels with 
Indian hunters from the north; that all traders were 
glad to obtain otter skins legally or otherwise; and 
that few cargoes left the coast which did not contain 
a package of valuable furs. In smuggling operations 
I shall have nothing to record of a very scandalous 
nature, though such operations were carried on per- 
haps more extensively than ever. ' So large a portion 
of the inhabitants, native and foreign, of all classes 
were engaged in contraband trade, that there was 
slight risk of detection. Customs officers were the 
only ones who were at all dishonored by smuggling. 
Both the traders and native Californians in their nar- 
ratives relate their adventures of this kind with pride 
rather than with shame. The favorite method was 
still a transfer of cargo at sea or from some secure 
hiding-place on coast or islands, after the least valuable 
part of the cargo had passed inspection by the revenue 
officers. ,The Sandwich Island vessels still took the 

' See chap. ii. of this vol. Feb, 16, 1838, Gov. Carrillo permits a party 
of New Mexicans to trade soiith of S. Fernando, but not farther uorth. 
IXpt. St. Pap., Aru]., MS., xi. 101; Hopkins' Translations, MS., 7-8. In 
Dec. 1839 a party of 75 men arrived under J. A. Salazar, returumg to Santa 
F6 in April. The authorities took many precautions at the time of their de- 
parture, evidently suspecting them of a design to get away with a drove of 
stolen horses. Dept. at. Pap., Ang., MS., iv. 55-7, 81; v. 107, 113; Id., .5. 
Josi, V. 71; Dept. Rec, MS., xi. 5; Janssens, Vida, MS., 161-2. The opera- 
tions of these New Mexican 'ti-aders' are described in the Honolulu S. I. 
Gazette, Dec. 2, 1S37. 

Hist. Cal., Vol. IV. S 


lead in this brancli of commercial industry; the Boston 
ships either did not smuggle or proceeded more cau- 

One of Chico's first acts was to issue, on May 11, 
1836, a bando intended to change radicall}^ the meth- 
ods of trade. The country's greatest evil commer- 
cially, according to Chico's ideas, was a monopoly of 
trade by foreigners; and he proposed to protect the 
interests of national merchants. His decree, there- 
fore, forbade all retail trade on board of foreign ves- 
sels, which must in future land their cargoes at 
Monterey, and subsequently sell their goods at that 
and other ports on shore only, and at wholesale.^ 
For vessels already on the coast these regulations 
were to take effect only after six months, much longer 
than Chico's destined term of office ; and it does not 

•Da\as, Glimpses, MS., 32, 150-9, gives a good account of smuggling in 
which he, as a clerk of Nathan Spear, was often engaged like all the rest. 
Osio, Hist. Col., MS., 405-6, who was in charge of the custom-house, says he 
had to shut his eyes to many frauds out of pity and unwillingness to ruin the 
merchants. Many smuggled out of pure fondness for coutraband trade, and 
in order to boast of their shrewdness. Capt. Hinckley writes, Feb. 13, 1S.3G, 
to Nathan Spear, 'I have made out the invoice with-all the marks so that 
you will be able to smuggle considerable.' Spear^s Paper.i, MS. Alvarado, 
Bist. CcU., MS., iii. 165-6; VaUejo, Hist. Col., MS., iii. 194; iv. G-7, and 
many others admit that everybody was engaged in smuggling, and argue that 
it was best for the couptry. 

5 May 11, 1836, Chico's bando on trade. Earliest Print.; Dept. St. Pap., 
Mont., MS., iii. 57-8; Pinto, Doc, MS., i. 185, etc. See also chap, xv., vol. iii. 
of this work. The decree is substantially as follows; 1. Retail trade on 
board of foreign ships is absolutely prohibited in all the ports and roadsteads 
of this Cal. 2. Every foreign ship immediately on arrival at Monterey will 
land its cargo in accordance with the laws. 3. No foreign ship may open a 
store on board while trading in the territory. 4. Wholesale trade is per- 
mitted to foreign ships, and will be protected according to national and in- 
ternational laws. 5. L'y wholesale trade is imderstood that in the parcels, 
l>ale3, packages, barrels, etc., as named iu the permit of this custom-house, 
with specification of contents. 0. No foreign ship may touch at any point 
on this coast where there is no receptor, except, 7. In case of necessity with 
previous notice to the custom-house, from which it will receive an attache to 
serve as receptor. 8. The same vessels must obtain permits from this cus- 
tom-house for coasting trade, and must return the way-bills. 9. From ves- 
sels violating any of these provisions the permit for coasting trade will be 
withdrawn, without relieving captains and supercargoes from the pei^lties for 
defrauding the revenue or disobeying local authorities. 10. These articles 
to take effect immediately with vessels which may arrive, and after 6 mouths 
with those now on the coast. 11. This decree to be published and enforced, 


appear that any vessel was ever subjected to them. 
Their only eftect was to ofifend the foreign traders. 

In one other matter Chico had an opportunity of 
rendering an official decision bearing on trade. Na- 
than Spear had a schooner, or lighter, the Nicolas, 
whicli he used to carry produce between Monterey 
and Santa Cruz under a license of October 1835 from 
General Gutierrez. The ayuntamiento, with a view 
to certain dues, claimed the exclusive right to grant 
such licenses, and Spear liad once been fined by the 
alcalde; but Chico decided against the municipal 
authorities, at the same time deciding further that 
Spear must sell his schooner unless he could prove 
himself a naturalized citizen or inscribed on the marine 
register. Spear subsequently transferred the Nicolas 
to San Francisco Bay.'' 

After the revolution of November, the new authori- 
ties, in compliance with demands of the foreigners, 
and probably in fulfilment of a previous agreement by 
which foreign support had been secured to the Cali- 
fornian cause, proceeded not only to restore to foreign 
vessels the right of engaging freely in the coasting 
trade as before, but reduced the rates of duties to 
forty per cent of the current tariff. This action was 
taken by the California congress December 9th.'' The 
decree was intended not only to please foreign trad- 
ers, but to reduce prices and prevent smuggling. 
Though the records are meagre, it seems to have had 
no other eflfect than to greatly reduce revenues.^ 

«Mny 6-28, 1836. D^pt. St. Pop., Ben. Mil., MS., Ixxx. 5-9. 

' Deo. 9, 183G, decree of the const, conj;. Castro, Decrctos, no. 9; Dept. 
St. Pap., Ann., MS., x. 18; Vatlejo, Do<:, MS., xxxii. 53. 1. For the pres- 
ent, and until the state treasury system can be regulated, articles coming 
directly from foreign ports will pay only 40 per cent on the manifests as per 
general tariff in force. 2. The coasting trade, escata y cabotarje, is pennitted 
as before to foreign vessels. 3. They ■will pay tonnage dues at 8 reals per 
ton. 4. In order to trade on the coast they must obtain from the govt of the 
state a passport, to bo shown to local authorities. 5. Those auth. will not 
permit such trade except on presentation of passports, which they will coun- 
tersign. 6. To be published, obeyed, etc. 

^Alvarado, Hist. Cal., MS., iii. 183-4, says it was a success. Wilkes, 
Narr., v. 180, says the duties were doubled again before more than two ves- 
sels bad benefited by the reduction. 


There were twenty -five vessels on the coast in 183G, 
besides three doubtful records, most of them belong- 
ing to the merchant fleet of earlier years. Such items 
of information respecting each as are extant I give 
with the list at the end of this chapter." The Clem- 
entine, Don Quixote, Leonidas, and Leonor rendered 
some service to the government in bringing a governor, 
carrying away political exiles, and moving troops up 
and down the coast. The only other vessel requiring 
special mention here was the Peacock, because she 
came from the Islands ostensibly for the protection 
of American commerce, and accomplished her object 
by unknown methods, to the apparent satisfaction of 
the traders. The voyage also gave rise to the publi- 
cation of a book; but on both topics I shall have more 
to say in another chapter. The total amount of duties 
paid by all the vessels at the Monterey custom-house 
was, as nearly as I can ascertain, about $50,000 for the 

By a Mexican decree of February 17, 1837, Mon- 
terey was declared open to foreign commerce, with a 
custom-house of the third class. This was a privilege 
denied to San Francisco and San Diego, which ports 
were to be open to coasting trade only, though the 
former was to have a frontier custom-house. This 
involved a salary list of $16,140 per year, and was to 
go into effect six months after the date of publica- 
tion;^" but of course had' no effect this year or the 

'Vessels of 1836: Aguirrc (?), Alert, Angola (?), Ayacucho, Bolivar, Brtxon, 
California, Catalina, Ckmfntine, Convoy, Diana, Don Quixote, Europa, Hector, 
Ionic (?), Isabella, Kent, Leonidas, Leonor, Loriot, Nicolas, Peacock, Peor cs 
JS'ada, Pilgrim, Ilasselai, Sosa, Sarah and Caroline, and Sitka. Total ex- 
ports to Houoluln, S73,900. ilagii's Report Com. Relations, i. 540, 34th cong. 
1 sess., Sen. Ex. Doc., 107. Total receipts of custom-hous«, fiscal year 1833- 
C, $56,741. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Mil., MS., Ixxxi. 45; or §44,049. Mexico, 
Mem. Hacienda, 1837, annex. 2, 1st series. Of which sum about $30,009 
belongs to 1836. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Com. and Treas., MS., v. 2. Total of 
receipts recorded for different vessels as per list, §41,539. 

'"Feb. 17th, Mexican decree, \nSup. Govt St. Pap., MS., xii. 3-4; xiii. 2; 
Pinart, Col., print, no. 474: Arrillaga, Recop., 1837, p. 85-120, 144-93. 212- 
64, 372-5, 578-89, including much other matter on Mexican commercial regu- 


next owing to existing political complications ; nor do 
I find evidence of any variation in 1837 from the 
regulations of the preceding December. Respecting 
the general prospects, a Honolulu paper expressed 
some rather gloomy forebodings. "The state of busi- 
ness on the coast of California is so far from being 
favorable to the interests of maritime and commercial 
enterprise, that it begins to savor most decidedly of 
the real seasoning of positive ill luck. Business is 
dragging heavily, while governmental affairs are mel- 
ancholy," writes the editor; but the Hawaiians were 
disappointed that California had resumed her Mexican 

An interesting topic of this year's annals, and one 
that may as appropriately be mentioned here as else- 
where, since it includes both a trade and a voyage, 
was the obtaining of a drove of California cattle for 
the American missionary establishment in Oregon, 
and for other settlers in the Willamette Valley. The 
Willamette Cattle Company was formed, and in Jan- 
uary a party of at least sixteen men^^ started in canoes 
down the river. Ewing Young the trapper, formerly 
of California, was the active chief, while Philip L. 
Edwards, in later years a well known lawyer and poli- 
tician of Sacramento, was a kind of financial agent. 
Edwards kept a diary, a part of which in manuscript 
is before me, and is chiefly the source of my informa- 
tion." The party sailed from the Columbia River 
February 10th on the Loriot, the Llama at the same 
time bringing to California James Birnie, whose busi- 
ness was also to purchase cattle for the Hudson's Bay 
Company. Most of the party landed at Bodega on 

lations, of this and later dates in 1837; Prieto, Rentas, 204; Mexico, Mem. 
Hacienda, 1838, pt i. p. 7; Dice. Univ., viii. 26. 

^'- Honolulu S. I. Gazette, Nov. IS, 1837. 

" The following IG are named first and last in the diary; Phil. L. Edwards, 
Ewing Young, Lawrence Carmichael, Henry Wood, B. Williams, Haucliurst 
(Hawkhurst), Bailey, Erque (Erequette), Despau, Gay, O'Niel, Turner, Tib- 
betts, Moore, Camp, and Pet. 

'^ Edwards' diary of a jonmey from Oregon to Cal., 18.37. The missing 
portion is the least important. The author came back to Cal. in 1800, and 
died in 1869. This diary was furnished by the author's daughter. 


the 27th; but the Loriot went on to Monterey, Ed- 
wards stopping at San Francisco, and Young going 
on to Santa Bdrbara. During March, April, and May, 
Edv/ards visited the region of San Rafael, and made 
the trip by land from Monterey to San Francisco. 
He met several of the foreign residents," and his 
recorded observations are accurate and interesting, 
though brief and presenting no features requiring 
special notice here. At first Vallejo had regarded 
unfavorably, and Alvarado had rejected, the proposi- 
tions of Young and Birnie to purchase cattle,^^ and 
there is no evidence that the determination was 
changed in Birnie's case; but Young, by personal 
solicitation, succeeded in gaining the consent of both 
governor and general, and he purchased from the 
government over seven hundred cattle, at three dol- 
lars each, to be delivered at San Francisco and San 
Josd missions. The wildest cattle are said to have 
been selected by the administrators; the time from 
June 1st to July 20th was employed in the task of 
collecting and driving the refractory animals to the 
bank of the San Joaquin. To get the drove across 
the river was a still more formidable undertaking, the 
perplexing, and to all but the drivers amusing, diffi- 
culties of which are graphically described by Edwards. 
The fording of the Jesus Maria, or Sacramento, on 

''Those named are Leese, Marsh, Black, Spence — at ivhose house he -was 
entertained at JIonterey^Dye, Lirermore, Gulnao, and Forbes. Xorth of 
the bay he visited Cooper's Mill, Read's rancho, and Martin's raucho, being 
also entertained by Padre Quijas, who was very free with his wine. JNiarch 
4th, Eichardson writes of arrival of Young, and his trip to the south. He left 
eight Americans and three Ind. at Cooper's rancho. Vallejo, Doc, ilG. 
xxxii. 76. 

. '^ March IS, 1S37, V. to A. He does not give his opinion decidedly, but 
suggests some objections as well as advantages, fearing a possible rivalry from 
the north in the stock-raising industry. If the petition be granted, the sales 
sliould be on govt account, and great precautions must be taken to prevent 
abuses. Vallejo, Doc, MS., iv. S3. May 3d, A. to V., declining to consent. 
Id., iv. 230. Jan. 10th, McLoughlin at Vancouver to Vallejo, in reference 
to eome complaints against Birnie iu his past transactions in salting beef. Id., 
V. IS. Feb. '25th, V. to A. E.xpccts a, party of men sent by the govt of the 
Columbia to purchase cattle (for slaughter?), as pei-mittcd in 1S34. Id., iv. 
75. Marsh, Letter, MS., 10-lS, gives some information about the tratBc and 
travel betw^een Oregon aud Cal. in lS37-i2. The subject is also mentioned 
by Phelps, Fore aiid Aft, 471. 


August 30th was more easily accomplished. The com- 
pany entered the mountains on the trail of Lafram- 
boise and his trappers. There is nothing in the diary 
to indicate the route followed; and Shasta Valley, 
reached on October 14th, is the only name ajjplied to 
any locality. The journey was one of extraordinary 
hardships. Mountain succeeded mountain apparently 
without end, each higher and steeper than the one be- 
fore; until horses and cattle were wellnigh exhausted 
and the men utterly discouraged. Young and several 
others had been over the trail before, but never knev/ 
exactly where they were. Young quarrelled with his 
men about the killing of cattle for food, and there was 
much insubordination. An Indian was murdered by 
some of the party, who sought vengeance for outrages 
of the savages on earlier trips ; and this not only ex- 
cited the indignation of Edwards, but caused the Ind- 
ians to continually harass the travellers at every 
difficult pass, several being wounded by arrows. The 
record ends abruptly on October 18th, leaving our ad- 
venturers in the midst of their troubles at a point 
four daj's' march beyond the crossing of the Shasta 
River; but we know from other sources that they 
reached the Willamette before the end of October 
with 600 of their cattle.^^ This is the first instance 
clearly recorded in which cattle wei-e obtained in Cal- 
ifornia for the north; though there are rumors that 
the Hudson's Bay Company had before driven a few 
from Ross by a coast route. 

In August of this year Vallejo addressed to Alva- 
rado a communication on commercial reforms, which 
was printed in book form after being extensively cir- 
culated in manuscript." His plan was to prohibit all 

'^"Lee and Frost, Ten Years in. Oregon, 145-6. It is said that they bought 
800 cattle at §3 per head, and 40 horses at §12— in all $2,4S0 (?). The 
horses were sold in Oregon, and the eattle were found to have cost 87. ()7 each, 
the mission receiving as its share over 80 head. See also Slacum's Seport, 3S- 
9; Willcen' Karr., iv. 384; Evans' IHst. Or., MS., 212-13. 

" Vallfjo, Exposicion que haced Comandante General dela Alia California 
al Gobernador de la misma, 1S37. (Sonoma, 1837.) IGmo, 21 p. A rare speci- 
men of early Californian printing, though the work is not so well done as 


coasting trade by foreign vessels, and to transfer the 
custoni-house from Monterey to San Francisco. In 
defence of the first, he adduced the well known prac- 
tice on the part of traders of presenting themselves 
at Monterey with a few cheap articles for inspection, 
afterward taking on board from secure hiding-places 
the valuable part of the cargo, to be sold at other 
ports. Thus the revenue was grossly defrauded, leav- 
ing the government without funds. By the change 
proposed not only would smuggling cease and the rev- 
enues be augmented, but Californians would be encour- 
aged to become the owners of coasting vessels or to 
build up a system of inland communication by mule- 
trains. An attempt was made later, as we shall see, 
to carry this part of the plan into effect. The trans- 
fer of the custom-house was advocated on the ground 
of San Francisco's natural advantages, the number 
and wealth of the establishments tributary to the bay, 
and the importance of building up the nortliern fron- 
tier as a matter of foreign policy. Vallejo's views 
were for the most part sound, even if his motives were 
not quite disinterested;^^ but naturally the scheme 
met with no favor at Monterey, either from the citi- 
zens or governor. 

The fleet of 1837 numbered thirty-seven vessels, 
of which about a dozen were of the past year's list.^* 

some other books of the period. The original MS. is in Vallrjo, Doc, MS., 
xxxii. 108; and it is also found in Depl. St. Pap., S. Josi, MS., v. 107-lS, in 
the form of an address to the ayuut. of S. Jos^. The printed document i3 
dated Aur;. 17th, and the MS. Aug. 24th. It is also given in Vallejo, Hist. Cal., 
MS., iii. 342-57. 

'* JNIof ras, Exphr. , i. 498, declares that Vallejo's motive was really a desire 
to handle the revenues, and that Alvar.ado's refusal was tlie cause of their 
long quarrel; but Mofras was an enemy of Vallejo, whose only interested mo- 
tive was probably to increase the value of Sonoma property. 

"Vessels of 1837. See list at end of this chapter: Ahrt (?), Ayatnicho, 
Saihal, Do'ivar, Cadboro, Cdifornla, California (schr), Catnlina, City of 
Genoa, Clementine, Coffin, Com. Itodtjera, Crusader, Delmira, Diana, Europa, 
Griffon, Indian, Ilurvest, lolani, Iwbiila, Kent, Leonidas, Leonor, Llama, 
Loriol, Nancy, Pilrjrim, Rasselas, Sarah ana Caroline, Sitka, Slarliiirj, Sul- 
phur, 7'oward Castle, True Bine, Veioz Asturiano, Venus. According to 
Richardson's record, the vessels at S. F. were divided as follows: American 
10, tonnage 2,673; English 5, 880 tons; Mexican 5, 897 tons; Ecuador 2, 252 
tons; Haw.aiianl, 198 tons; Russian 2, 382tons; total, 25, 5,282 tons. These 
vessels took away from S. F. produce to the amount of §75,711, di\'ided as 


There were four that had come in 1836 and simply 
sailed away this year. Five were whalers touching 
for supplies, and two of them lost on the Californiaa 
coast. Three were men-of-war, though on no war- 
like errand; while twenty-five made up the trading 
fleet proper. There is an almost total lack of data 
respecting cargoes and duties, but I suppose the lat- 
ter were considerably less than in 1836. Of matters 
connected with the visits of the Loriot and Llama, 

I have already spoken. The voyages of the English 
and French explorers Belcher and Petit-Thouars, 
with the published narratives of those voyages, will 
demand attention in another chapter ; respecting other 
vessels of the year, there is no information extant be- 
yond what I give in the list for 1836-40. 

The commercial annals of 1838 present in respect 
of regulations nothing more important than the de- 
cree of January 3d, by which Carlos Carrillo at- 
tempted to browbeat the arribeiios by closing the port 
of Monterey and establishing the custom-house at 
San Diego — a decree which of course had no effect. ^^ 

There were twenty-two vessels in the list of 1838, 
of which thirteen appeared in that of the preceding 
year.-^ Neither whalers nor men-of-war came to the 

follows: Hides, 14,928; horns, 12,484; tallow, 11,731 arrobas; wheat, 5,063 
arr.; dried beef, 92.5 arr.; flour, 522 arr.; lard, 514 arr.; potatoes, 856 arr.; 
pumpkins, 400 arr.; wool, 448 arr.; com, 198 arr.; barley, 35 arr.; beans, 

II arr.; meat, 1931t)S; beeves, 56; sheep, 100; deer-skins, 270; beaver-skina, 
71 arrobas. From Flagg's Report we learn that the imports from Cal. into 
Honolulu were §49,500 for the year. 

™Jan. 3, 1838, Carrillo's proclamation. S. Diego. Arch., MS., 193. See 
also chap, xix., vol. iii. of this work. May 1st, Mexican custom-house regu- 
lations, naming Monterey as an open port, and the other two as puertos de 
cabotage. Arrillaga, Recop., 1838, 144-221. Aug. 1st, no person must board 
a vessel before the revenue officers. Penalty, $10, $20, and finally that of a 
rebel. S. Dii-go, Arch.,yiS,., 5. 

"Alert, Ayacucho, Bolivar, Cadboro, California, Cntalina, Clara, Colum- 
bian (;), Delmira, Feamaughl, Flibbertygibbelt, Index, lolani, Kamamalu, 
Kent, Leonidas, Leonor, Llama, Nereid, Plymouth, Rasselai, and Sitka. 
Autliorities on the disaster of the Llama, at Sta Rosa Island (see text): 
Honolulu S. L Oazette, Jan. 19, Feb. 2, 1839; Niles' Beg., Ui. 280; Larlan's 
Doc. Hist. Cal., MS., i. 1; Dept. St. Pap., MS., xviii. 58-61; S. Diego, Arrh., 
MS., 218; Anderson's Hist. N. W. Coast, MS., 217-19; Nidever's Life, MS., 
81-4. Total amount of produce taken away from S. F. this year, SS1,700 or 
$SG,G0O, according to two versions of Richardson's report; total tonnage, 3,010, 


coast, SO far as the records sbo\y. The few and mea- 
gre items of revenue extant form perhaps no basis for 
a general estimate, though they seem to indicate a 
continued decrease in custom-house receipts. The 
only vessel in this year's fleet requiring further notice 
than that given in the list was the Llama. We have 
seen that in 1837 James Birnie, representing the 
Hudson's Bay Company, had tried without success 
to obtain a license to hunt otter on the Californian 
coast. It does not appear that the company went 
any further in the matter; but Captain John Bancroft 
of the Llama, the vessel that had brought Birnie 
from the north, went on with his otter-hunting op- 
erations in defiance of the laws. It is probable that 
he made a successful trip in the spring of 1838, since 
he touched at Honolulu in the summer on his way 
from California to the Columbia River, having on 
board twenty-seven north-western Indians. His wife 
was with him on the vessel. In the autumn, with the 
same crew, or more probably a new one, of twenty- 
five fierce Kaiganies, he came down the coast to Santa 
Rosa Island, and began work again. George Nidever, 
an old otter-hunter, still living in 1880, tells some ex- 
citing tales of conflicts which he and his companions 
had in these years with the north-western Indians at 
the islands; and he mentions an unsuccessful attempt 
to capture at Santa Rosa a vessel which may have 
been the Llama. On November 21st, Bancroft, 
having had an altercation with one of his hunters in 
the morning, received a volley of musket-balls in the 
back while standing at the gangway looking over the 
ship's side, and fell mortally wounded. Mrs Bancroft 
threw herself upon her husband's body, and was ter- 
ribly wounded by a second volley from the muskets 
of the savages. A seaman, attempting to arm him- 
self, was also killed; and then the Indians, seizing the 

tons. 30,000 Californian hides were received at Honolulu and rce.\portcd. 
Jloiwlitlu Hawaiian Spectator, i. 2. Total of e.\ports to Honolulu, SUl.OOO. 
Flags'n licporl. 


vessel, forced Robinson, the mate, to direct her course 
to the north. When the Kaiganies reached their 
home, they landed in their canoes, and allowed the 
Llama, stripped of all they could carry away, to con- 
tinue her voyage. She arrived at Honolulu January 
13, 1839; and on the 27th Mrs Bancroft died there 
from the effect of her wounds. F. D. Atherton, in 
notifj'ing Thomas O. Lai^kin from Honolulu of what 
had happened, adds: "Sparks may now have the 
range of the whole coast without interruption, as 
there will be no more vessels fitted out from here." 
On the very day of Mrs Bancroft's death, Governor 
Alvarado, having become convinced somewhat tardily 
that Bancroft was taking otter illegally on the coast, 
appointed the negro Allen G. Light a ' comisario gen- 
eral' to put a stop to such proceedings, using force if 
necessary ! 

It had become customary to accept goods from for- 
eign vessels in payment of duties to such an extant 
that coin was almost entirely removed from circulation ; 
and the prices of goods thus paid had been gradually 
raised to exoi^bitant figures. To prevent these evils, 
a decree was issued by Alvarado, through Adminis- 
trator Osio, in April 1839, fixing by a graduated scale 
the proportion of duties that must be paid in coin, 
never less than one third of the whole amount. More- 
over, persons holding custom-house orders on vessels — 
for the duties were almost always anticipated by the 
issuance of such orders — need not take goods in pay- 
ment if the prices were deemed excessive, but might 
require hides or tallow at current rates.^^ 

"April 8, 9, 1839, circulars of Alvarado and Osio. Dept. St. Pap., Ben., 
MS., iii. 21; Id., Cusl.-H., v. 12-13. If the whole duty was §3,000 or less, 
all was to be paid in silver; on 83,000 to 80,000, CO per cent in silver; on 80,000 
to 812,000, 50 per cent; and over §12,000, 33 per cent. When the part to be 
paid in silver was over 86,000, it might be paid in three instahnents. Osio, 
HUt. Gal., MS., 402-4, mentions this action, but gives the scale incorrectly. 
Some miscellaneous items of the year: Jan. 31st, Osio to Alvarado. Foruigu 
effects prohibited by law, but the admission of which is required by necessity, 
will pay a fi.Ked duty of notlesa than 40 percent. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Ch.sY.- 
//., M.S., V. 4. Tonnage paid, §2.12 per ton, Mexican measurement, always 


I note a few general items of the year as follows : 
In May Vallejo urged upon the Mexican government 
the expediency of admitting free of duties for ten 
years the cargoes of such vessels as should touch at 
San Francisco only, with a view to build up Sonoma 
and the northern frontier.^' In the same month John 
Temple at Los Angeles wrote to Larkin: "Business 
is almost at a complete stand. I have not done half 
as much as I did last year by this time"^* — yet busi- 
ness men have been known to complain of dull times 
without much cause. Forbes published extracts from 
various letters relating in a general way to commerce 
on the coast, and incidentally to California. '^^ In Au- 
gust Larkin issued a circular address to whalers, setting 
forth the advantages of Monterey as a station for ves- 
sels visiting the north-west coast. '^ In August also 
Juan Bandini came to the front with a proposition to 
revive the failing prosperity of the country by prohib- 
iting the introduction of foreign liquors and wines."' 
The settlers north of the bay announced in print that 
they would no longer trade with foreign vessels un- 
less the latter would take all kinds of produce in ex- 
cliange for goods.^' The traders often took articles 
they did not want for their own cargoes, to be ex- 
changed with others in a different line. All would 

in coin. Pinto, Doc, MS., i. 244. July 22d, Osio to Guerra. The evU of 
vessels entering other ports before coming to Monterey must be stopped. If 
forced to enter, a guard must be put on board, and receive 850 for his ser- 
vices. Guerra, Doc, MS., vi. 24. Aug. IGth, 17th, decrees regulating land- 
ing of sailors from whalers and other vessels. Hunt's Merchants' J/aij., iii. 401- 
2; DejJt. St. Pap., Mont., MS., iv. 13. Aug. 22d, Oct. 12th, Jlexican regu- 
lations ArriUaija, Itecop., 1S39, p. 194-5, 240-2. Get. 23d, Vallejo to capt. 
port at S. F. Foreign lighters, launches, or boats to do no carrying trade on 
the coast. Vallejo, Doc, MS., Tiii. 231. July, the vessel in which Sutter 
came with difficulty got permission to remain 48 hours at S. F. for repairs, etc. 
Not allowed to remain for festivities of July 4th. Sutler's Per.i. I?crol., MS., 
13-15. Nov. 16th, Osio complains that contraband goods are introduced from 
Ross at S. F., where there is no receptor. 

"May 10, 18.39, V. to min. of war. Vallejo, Doc, MS., vii. 28. 

"May 23, 1839, Temple to Larkin, in Larkin'a Doc, MS., i. 5. 

■^Forbes' Hist. Cal., 332, etc. 

25 Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxii. 294. The circular waainteniled mainly as aa 
advertisement of Larkin's private business. 

^' Aug. 9, 18.S9, B. toayunt. of Angeles. Leg. Rec, MS., iii. 44-G. 

-'Aug. 15, 1839, Salvador Vallejo for the northern rancheros. Earliest 


take hides or tallow or furs, as these articles were 
easily interchangeable. 

Vallejo still urged his plan of prohibiting the coast- 
ing trade to all foreign vessels;^' and at the end of the 
3- ear all owners and consignees were forewarned of an 
intention on the part of the state government to en- 
force the Mexican laws prohibiting every kind of coast- 
ing trade to all but national vessels. They were 
therefore required to suspend at once their retail trade, 
and to settle up transactions in which they were al- 
ready engaged; but meanwhile, pending the issue of 
the intended order, they might continue to dispose of 
their goods at wholesale — a privilege, however, which 
would be forfeited by a failure to comply with the 
present requirements.^" 

I append a list of twenty-sis vessels on the coast 
in 1839, of which only ten or twelve were new arri- 
vals.^^ The ■Clementine brought John A. Sutter, of 
whose settlement in California I shall have much to 
say later. Captain Laplace published extensive notes 
of his observations in the country during his visit on 
the Artemise; but a notice of Laplace's book, like 
that of Belcher, who visited the coast a second time 
this 3'ear on the Sulphur, belongs also to a subsequent 
chapter. The arrivals which brought most joy to 
the Californians, and especially to officials, were those 
of the California and Monsoon, two Boston ships 
which paid over $50,000 in duties on their cargoes, 

29 Dec. 1st, v. to Vinnoud. Vallejo, Doc, MS., viii. 335. 

'"Dec. 31, 1839, governor's order to prefects, circulated by the latter to 
minor officials on various dates of Jan. 1840. Doc. Hist. Col., MS., i. 408; 
Dfpt. SI. Pap., Ben., MS., iii. 6-8; fd., An/jeles, xii. 25; Id., Monterey, iv. 
84-5; S. Dkfjo, Arch., MS., 251; Sla Cruz, Arch., MS., 1-2; S. Josi, ArcL, 
MS., iii. 105; Esludillo, Doc, MS., ii. 3. 

'' Alert, Artimise, Ayacucho, Baikal, Bolivar, California (sclir), Califor- 
nia, Catalina, Cervantes, Clementine, Corsair, Daniel O'Connell, Delmira, 
Elena, FUhbertyrjibhitt, Index, Liaiel, Joneph, Joseph Peabody, Juan Josi, 
Leonidas (?), Monsoon, Morse, Nicotics, Starling, and Sulphur. Total reve- 
nue received at the Monterey custom-house in 1839, §85,013. E.vpenses, 
$4,574. Larkin's Official Corresp., MS., ii. 37, 110; Dept. Si. Pap., Ben. Cast.- 
H., V. (201-45); Pico, Doc, MS., i. 85; Bryant's What I Saw in Cal., 445-G. 
At S. F. 20 vessels, total tonage 3,307 tons, took away produce to the value 
of 887,529. Richardson, in Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxv. 255. Imports into 
Honolidu from Cal., §20,500. Ilagg's Report. 


more than doubling the revenue of the preceding 
year, and raising the total to $85,613 — a godsend to 
the departmental treasury. 

I find no evidence that in 1840 foreign vessels were 
restricted to wholesale trade in accordance with the 
regulation of December 1839; or that any serious 
attempt was made to enforce the restriction, beyond 
the circulation of the order in January.'- In Feb- 
ruary, however, Alvarado dwelt on his proposed pro- 
hibition of coasting trade in his opening speech be- 
fore the junta, explaining the reasons of his warning 
already issued, and asking for the passage of a decree 
so framed as to conciliate all interests.^' Again in 
December he addressed a long communication to the 
government, explaining his policy, and announced his 
purpose to enforce it from the beginning of the nest 
year, making perhaps some concessions to such ves- 
sels as might be on the coast at that time. Alvarado 
admitted that this action would for a time greatly 
reduce the revenues, and might cause the Boston 
ships to suspend their visits; but he held that it was 
necessary, in order to prevent smuggling, to keep out 
of the country the constantly increasing horde of 
deserters from foreign vessels, and especially to de- 
velop a system of commerce and transportation in 
the hands of Californians.^* It is not unlikely that 
certain prominent traders of foreign birth, but natu- 

" Mofras, Explor., i. 408, says the foreigners refused to unload their 
cargoes, and thus forced Alvarado to rescind his prohibition. This, however, 
may refer to the general prohibition of coasting trade a little later. 

^^Feb. IG, 1S40, A. to the junta. Leg. Rec, MS., iii. 51-3. Jan. 1st, 
new revenue tariff goes into effect. Tonnage on foreign vessels, §1.50; duty 
on lumber, §10 per M. PbUo, Doc, MS., i. 297-S. March, exportation of 
money free of duties not permitted either to vessel or passengers. Dept. St. 
Pap., Mont., MS., viii. 2. Duties on various imports September. Vallejo, 
Doc, MS., xxxiii. 121. Dec. 14th, a deduction of 25 per cent made on the 
61.50 tonnage dues. £>epf. St. Pap., Ben. Mil., MS., Iv. 13. Dec. 10th, gov. 
asks for a law prohibiting foreigners from engaging in retail trade. Dcpt. lice, 
MS., xi. 71. No tonnage on a vessel that enters a port for fresh supplies or 
to repair; but she can remain only 48 hours. Pir.lo, Doc, MS., i. 251. Coin 
particularly scarce this year. I'adejo {J. J.), lifmhi., MS., 177. 

s* Dec 12, 1S40, A. to sup. govt. Savage, Doc, MS., iv. 329. 


rallzed and married in the country, were the real pro- 
moters of this proposed enforcement of Mexican 
laws with a view to tlieir own private interests. 

The commercial annals of this period, like those of 
1831-5,'^ may be closed by a reference to the fact that 
Abel Stearns was arraigned for a continuance of his 
smuggling operations at Los Angeles and San Pedro. 
In October a strange vessel landed goods mysteri- 
ously at night. A search of Stearns' house revealed 
a valuable lot of silks and liquors, which were con- 
demned. Don Abel wrote violent letters, talked loud, 
and appealed for justice, meanwhile exerting himself, 
as it seems, to make folse invoices and otherwise put 
his accounts in order. To what extent he succeeded 
the records fail to show; but in December contraband 
hides were found by a new search of his warehouse. ^^ 

Of the twenty-eight vessels named in the list of 
1840, seventeen had been known on the coast before.^^ 
They yielded to the government a total revenue of 
$72,372, of which the Alei-t from Boston paid $18,- 
685, and the Bolivar from Honolulu $11,531. Sev- 
eral vessels of this year's fleet will require notice, 
or have already been noticed, in connection with 
other matters. Such are the Alert, whose master, 
Phelps, published a narrative; the Don Quixote, one 
of whose passengers, Farnham, also wrote a book; the 
Joven Guipuzcoana, that carried away Graham and 
his fellow-exiles; the Catalina, that brought back the 
guard sent with the prisoners to San Bias; the Dan- 

'^See Hist. Cat, chap, xiii., vol. iii., this series. 

^^ Los Anf/eles, Arch., MS., i. 185-6; Dept. St. Pap., MS., v. 27-8, 50-1; 
Id., Aug., xi. 119-'24; Id., Ben. Pre/, yjiizg , vi. 82-8. 

^'' Ahiope, Alert, Angelina, Ayacucho, Baikal, Bolivar, California, Califor- 
nia (schr), Catalina, Clara, Columbia, Danaide, Don Quixote, Elena, Fiy, 
Forager, Index, Joseph Peahndy, Jtiven Guipuzcoana, Juan Jose, Lausanne, 
Leonidas, Monsoon, Morse, Nikolai, Nicolas, St Louii, Union. Total of rev- 
enue according to items as per list, §64,723. According to report in Larkin's 
Of. Corresp., ii. 37, 110; Hartnell's statement inPico, Doc, MS., i. 85; Bry- 
ant's WhatI Saw in Cal., 445-6 — 572,308; according to custom-house records, 
$72,372, expenses being §4,913. Exports to Honolulu to Aug., §17,000. 
Flagg's Report, which was taken from a report fumislied by Pierce and 
Brewer to the Polynesian Sept. 12, 1840. Douglas, Journal, JIS., 88, makes 
the average exports of hides and tallow from Monterey §20,000. 


aide and St Louis, men-of-war which came to investi- 
gate imaginary outrages upon the citizens of France 
and the United States; and the Lausanne, which 
brought some immigrants from Oregon, and had 
trouble with the Californian authorities. 

At the end of 1835 we left Jos^ Maria Herrera in 
charge of the sub-comisan'a, and Angel Ramirez of 
the Monterey custom-house. The former was exiled 
by Alvarado's revolution of November 1836; but the 
latter held his place for more than a month after the 
change of government, being suspended with all his 
subordinates by Alvarado on the 21st of December.^ 
In place of these a recaudador, or collector, was to be 
appointed with one clerk. William E. Hartnell was 
appointed recaudador, and throughout the year 1837 
seems to have been the only official of either treasury 
or custom-house in California; though of his adminis- 
tration nothing is known beyond the fact that he held 
the position.*' An administrator of customs was ap- 
pointed by the Mexican government, but never came 
to take the position.*" Antonio Maria Oslo was urged 
this year, according to his own statement, to take 
charge of the custom-house, the governor having been 
struck with admiration by his honest administration, 
while in the rebel service, of a forced loan from San 

'* December 21, 1S36, Alvarado suspends Ramirez. Dept. St. Pap., Den, 
Cnst.-H., MS., iv. 1. This was authorized by the decree of the congress of 
Dec. 4th. Castro, Decretos, no. 3. The recaudador was to get a salary of 
§1,000, and his clerk §365. July 2d, furniture in the custom-house paid for 
from the treasury: 2 cases, flagstaflf, flag, scissors, slate, candlestick, snuiTers, 
table, seal, boat, shed for same. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Cmt.-H., MS., iv. [35j]. 

S' Hartnell was appointed Dec. 25, 1836, and removed Oct. 5, 1S37. His 
compensation was 5 per cent of collections. VaUeJo, Doc, MS., xxxii. ."iS, 112; 
iv. 76; Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Mil., MS., Ixxxi. 79. Serrano, Apuntes, MS., 38- 
42, speaks however of Jesus Pico as having held the position of sub-comisario, 
being entirely incompetent, as was his successor, Montenegro, who, he says, 
was succeeded by .Santiago Estrada. 

*" Manuel Cambre appointed May 10, 1837, and his resignation accepted 
June 7th. Depl. St. Pap., Ben. Cust.-H., MS., iv. 707-8. This was under 
the decree of Feb. 17th, creating for the Monterey custom-house an adminis- 
trador at §3,000; contador, §2,000; 1st and 2d official, §1,500 and §1,000; 
cscribiente, §500; alcaide, §1,500; comandante, §2,000; 4 celadores at §S0O 
each; patron of the boat, §400; and 4 sailors, at §260 each. Total, §16,140 
per yearl Sup. Govt St. Pap., MS., xiii. 2. 


Fernando. The honest man of Angeles declined the 
honor at first, because his private business was yield- 
ing him an income of $4,000 besides his vineyard. In 
1838, however, Oslo accepted the position,*^ and served 
as adiuinistrador throughout the period, much to the 
satisfaction of all concerned, being regarded by mer- 
chants and masters of vessels as not f)nly a competent 
oflicial, but a courteous gentleman. The only subor- 
dinate was Pablo de la Guerra, who served as first 
official and vista from 1838.*' Meanwhile Alferez Eu- 
genic Montenegro was appointed sub-comisario in 
January 1838, and served, with what success the 
records do not show, until the end of March 1839.*^ 
He was succeeded by Jose Abrego, who remained in 
charge of the departmental finances for six years.''* 
At Sau Francisco, where W. A. Richardson seems 

" Osio, Hist.,MS., 355-6, 400-1 . The author declares that he accepted 
only on condition that he was not to pay any attention to communications 
from Pavon, the director general de rentas, who was very angry at receiving 
only the regular accounts at the end of each year. The exact date of Oslo's 
appointment does not apijear; but on Jan. 6th, the admin. — presumably Osio — 
is appointed contador as well, with §2,000 salary. DejJt. Bee, MS., x. 1. 
Oct. 13, 1838, Osio explains his method of securing the sers-ices of guards for 
vessels at the slight expense of 83 for each visit, by giving them also all the 
law allowed to seizers of contraband goods. Dept. St. Pap. , MS. , iv. 237-8. 
March 30-1, 1839, Osio sworn in and gives bond of $4,000. Dept. St. Pap., 
Ben. Cust.-il., MS., v. 5; and is also appointed provisional comandante de 
celadores. Dept. Pec. , MS. , x. 4. Called also habilitado provisional. Ashley's 
Doc, MS., 255. 

'-He was appointed Jan. 3, 183S. Dept. Pec., MS., x. 1. Accepts oflBce 
and gives bond of |2,000 Jan. 5, 1839. Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., iii. 22; 
Id., Ben. Cu-si.-^., v. 1, 3, 5. His salai-y was $1 ,500. Lieut Pedro Nar\'aez 
seems to have served as captain of the port at Monterey (not a revenue offi- 
cer) in 1839-40. Val'ejo, Doc, MS., iv. 256; Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Mil., MS., 
Ixxvi. Rafael Gonzalez was appointed comandante of celadores on July 13, 
1840 {in Mexico?). At the same time a contador and official 1° were appointed, 
who never came to California. Dept. St. Pup., Mont., MS., viii. 4. Monte- 
negro was comandante of celadores from March 1839. 

'^Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Cast.-ll., MS., v. 3-4; Dept. Pec, MS., x. 1^. 

''March 30, 1839, gov. appoints Abrego comisario (?) ad int. Dept. St. 
Pap., Ben. Com. and Tieas., MS., iv. 28. He is usually referred to in official 
documents as snb-comisaiio; and is spoken of by Califomians as treasurer. 
Dec. 1, 1840, gov. to min. of int., recommending Abrego as gefe de hacienda. 
Dept. Pec, MS., xi. 72. His pay at first was 2 per cent of receipts. In 1840 
he got §197 per month, and had 2 clerks at $30 and §18. His bond was 
$1,000. July 13, 1840, a decree of the president fixed the salaries at Mon- 
terey as follows : administrador, $2,500; contador, $2,000; 2 clerks at $1,500 
and $500; the first serving as vista; alcaide (storekeeper), $1,000; coman- 
dante of celadores, $1,800; 4 celadores at $700; skipper of launch, $400; 
4 sailors at $260. Vallejo, Doc Hist. Mex., MS., ii. 72. 
Hi3T. CiL., Vol. IV. 7 


to have served as captain of the port throughout this 
half-decade/^ there was no custom-house officer until 
1839. Jacob P. Leese was then recommended by 
Osio as receptor; but the governor, not favoring the 
appointment of a trader, appointed Francisco Guerrero 
as provisional administrator, with twenty-five per cent 
of receipts as compensation/^ At Santa Barbara 
Benito Diaz figures as receptor in 1836-7; and Jose 
Antonio de la Guerra was captain of the port in 
1839-40.*' At San Diego Martin S. Cabello served 
as receptor, except for a time in 183G when he had 
trouble with the local authorities and Andres Pico 
took his place, until 1838, and perhaps later. During 
Carrillo's rule in the south in 1837-8, Juan Bandini 
seems to have had nominal charge of the so-called 
custom-house at this port, but there are no satisfac- 
tory records of this period. It does not appear that 
Don Cflrlos and his party ever succeeded in collecting 
duties from any vessel.*' 

The financial administration of California in 1836-8 
has left no record of methods or statistics of results. 
We know simply that during the sectional struggles the 
southern missions had to furnish funds to sujDport the 
cause of the abajenos; while the arribehos depended on 
the northern missions, had frequent opportunities to 
draw upon those of the south as well, and had besides 
the custom-house receipts. If any accounts were kept, 
they have long since disappeared. Wealthy men on 
both sides made some sacrifices of property, which, as 
a rule, were more than repaid later, in one way or 
another, from the mission estates. Meanwhile, occa- 

'5 His record of vessels, Hkhardson, Salvias ch bitques, MS., begins m 1S.".7. 
Dec. 24, 1S39, Osio, in writiug about his salary of SUO per month, says his 
appointment had not yet been approved. £)e2}t. St. Pap. , Ben.Com. and Trea.^. , 
MS., iv. 25. 

*<^Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Cms*.-//., MS., v. 2, 6; Depf. Bee, MS., x. 16; Dcpl. 
8t. Pap., Ben., MS., iii. 20; Pinto, Doc, MS., i. 2li4, 267. 

" Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Cust.-H., MS., \v. 1; Id., Ben. Mil, Ix.xxi. SI; 
Lxxxviii. 35; Id., Ben. Com. and Treas., iv. 25. 

"S. Diego, Arch., MS., 5, 41, 95, 107, US; Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Cnst.-II., 
MS., iv. 1-4. 

THE REVEMJES IN 1839-40. 99 

sional communications arrived from Mexican officials 
on financial topics, which received not the slightest 
attention from Californian financiei's, and merit not 
even a mention here.*^ 

In 1839-40 a great improvement is observable, 
something of order and system being introduced by 
Abrego and Osio in the financial management and 
keeping of accounts, while the revenues, as we have 
seen, were largely increased, amounting to $158,000 
for the two years. I append in a note such statistical 
items as will enable the reader to form an idea of 
what was done with this revenue of $79,000 a year, 
or $6,500 per month. ^' As before, official communica- 
tions from Mexico received very little attention, ex- 
cept as they could occasionally be utilized to sustain 
a position taken in some Californian quarrel. 

Instructions from the national government required 
that the revenues should be equally divided between 
the civil and military departments." It was charged 

"June 4-5, 1836, Gov. Chico proposes some new system of regulating 
mission accounts, not approved by the dip. Leg. Hec, MS., iii. 17-18. 
AprU 1, 1837, the Mexican govt authorized a loan of i§70,000 on the pious 
fund, the money to be devoted to the task of restoring the national authority 
in Cal. Arrillarja, Recop., 1837, p. 26o-6. April l-2th, thepres. announces tlie 
formation of a scheme to pay the foreign debt in lands of the north, includ- 
ing Cal., and in bonds secured by those lands, of which 100,000,000 acres 
■were to be hypothecated for this purpose. Sup. Govt St. Pap., MS., xiii. 3-4. 

"> I omit many items which contribute to no general result. May 1 .3, 1839, 
gov. to Abrego. §16,G32 to be set aside for payment of auxiliary militia for 
services in restoring order. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Com. and Treas., MS., iv. 
24, 14. July 27th, Abrego to Vallejo. Govt, owes !519,000. Accepts V.'s 
offer of aid for the frontier company. Id., Ben., iii. 144-5. Abrego's ac- 
counts show that from May to Oct. 1839 there was paid to the military de- 
partment §20,975, and to the civil §26,165. Id., Ben. Com. and Treas., MS., 
iii. 35-9. Specimen monthly account of military expenses in 1839: Goman- 
dante general and office expenses, $354; presidial companies, Monterey .^705, 
Sta Barbara §710, S. F. §1,367, Sonoma §650, artillery oo. §576; 4 officers 
not included in preceding, §235; surgeon, §60; 7 invAlidos, 6 of them officers, 
Si235; 3 port captains, $239; sundries, §29; total, §5,166. Vallejo, Doc, MS., 
xiv. 256. Estimate of annual military expenses from many items in Id. , xxv. , 
§60,961. July 26th, Abrego's estimate of monthly expenses for the whole 
department, §8,000. Id., vii. 406. General expense of the staff for 1839, 
$7,362. Id., xxv. Paid out by Abrego in June 1840, §9,861, the largest 
items being: placed at governor's disposal, §3,670; extraordinary expenses, 
$1,141; repaid to merchants, §1,703; to military companies, §2,487. Id., xxvi. 
97. Payments in July: miUtary, §11,452; civil, §13,620. Id., 110. VaUejo, 
Hist. Cal., MS., iv. 143-4, affirms that iu 1840 David Spence bought state 
bonds for 17 cents, and never realized anything from them. 

"5aj). Govt St. Pap., MS., xv. 3; Dejpt. St. Pap., MS., iv. 130; Id., Ben. 


by Vallejo that this division, regarded in itself as un- 
fair by reason of the needs and services of the soldiers, 
was not fairly carried out, the civil authorities receiv- 
ing their full pay, while the military had to be content 
with what was left; and it was also charged by all 
outside of the capital, that the Monterey clique were 
devoting the revenues too exclusively to their own 
benefit. This distribution of the funds was a leading 
element in the quarrel between Alvarado and Vallejo; 
and the controversy between the latter and Abrego 
was hardly less bitter, the comisario seeking every 
opportunity to annoy the general. ^'^ It is probable 
that Alvarado, Castro, Jimeno, Abrego, Oslo, and 
their friends at Monterey used their power to some 
extent for their own interests; but it is known that 
Vallejo was influenced largely by wounded pride, and 
such records as are extant afford but scant support to 
his extravagant charges of a fraudulent distribution 
of the public moneys.*^ 

I append an alphabetical list of seventy-six vessels 
which visited Californian ports from 1836 to 1840,^* 

Com. and Treas., iv. 27. March 14, 1839, Vallejo asked that CastiUero be 
recognized in Mex. as habilitado general for the Cal. companies; the reply- 
was that CastiUero might serve as attorney for persons in Cal. Savage, Doc, 
MS., iv. 313. 

*'^See Hist. Cal., chap, xx., vol. iii., this series. Also Vallejo, Doc, MS., 
vii. 407, 417; Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., iii. 141-9. Aug. 5, 1S40, Abrego 
urges the appointment of an habilitado to receive from him all military funds 
for distribution. Id., iii. 153. Oct. "28, 1839, Mexican order forbidding the 
general to interfere in the management of public funds. Supt. Govt St. Pap. , 
MS., XV. 12. May 10, 1839, Alvarado to Vallejo. The revenue of this year 
will be sufficient to pay all expeiises and leave a surplus. Vallejo, Doc, MS., 

»'May to Aug. 1839, a series of orders requiring the collection of tithes, 
the proceeds to be devoted to the establishment of a mail route from L. Cal. 
No results reported. Vallejo, Doc, MS., -i-ii. 17, 32, 399; xxxii. 267; liai/es' 
Mission Book, i. 335; Dept. St. Pap., MS., v. 48; Id., Angeles, v. 65; xi. 10; 
Montereji, Arch., MS.,xvi. 23. There is nothing of a general nature extant for 
this period respecting municipal funds. 

"List of vessels 1836^0: 

Aguirre, named as a ship at Mont. 1836; but probably a vessel belonging 
to Aguirre. 

Alciope, Amer. ship; Curtis Clap, master; on the coast April to Oct. 1840; 
duties, S6,876. At Honolulu in Nov. ; passengers, Capt. Bliun, Rev. Parker, 
Mr and Miss Warren. Sailed for Boston in Dec; Capt. J. 0. Carter, pass. 

Alert, Amer. ship, 398 or 360 tons; Thompson, master. Sailed for Boston 

VESSELS OF 1830-40. 101 

eight of the number resting on doubtful records.. 
Of the remaining sixty-eight, twenty-six were under 
tlie flag of tlie United States, seventeen bore English 

May 8, 1836, with 40,000 hides and 30,000 homs. Returned in spring of 1838 
(or perhaps late in 1837); Penhallow, master; Hatch, mate. Sailed from San 
Diego for Boston June 26, 1839. Came back in June 1840; Wm D. Phelps, 
master; duties, §18,085. AKred Robinson is named as supercargo, and may 
have returned to Cal. on this vessel. Capt. Phelps in his Fore and Aft de- 
scribes the voyage as having lasted 3 yrs, 3 mos, and 13 days. 

Angelina, Fr. whaler of 1840, as mentioned by Osio; N. Jena, master. 

Angola, Amer. ship; consigned to Spence and Malarin. In Spence's list 
of 1S3G. 

A ridmise, Fr. man-of-war; Capt. C. P. T. Laplace, com. ; from Bodega to 
Mont. Aug. -Sept. 1839. See chap. iv. of this vol. for Laplace's visit and 

Ayacucho, Engl, brig; ^Pilson, master; up and dowD the coast as usual 
in 1836-7, from Callao. 

A yacucho, Engl, schr, 97 or 67 tons. Formerly the Isabel. Bought in 
May 1838 for |2,900 at Callao by Jas McKinley. Li Vallejo, Doc, MS., 
x.\xii. 136-41, are all the doc. of sale and change from Mex. to Engl. flag. In 
Cal. Sept. -Oct.; Geo. F. Comfort, master; JIcKinley on board; §456 duties. 
Back again from Callao July 1839; Robert Dare, master. Landed a passen- 
ger, who was allowed to take only one suit of clothes of his luggage. Cargo, 
$2,566; duties, $2,368. Wintered on the coast, or came back in March 1840; 
duties, 620. 

Baikal, Russ. brig, 180 tons; Stephen Vouks, master; at S. Francisco 
Jan. 1837. Also Jan. 1839; Demetrius, master; took 84,977 in produce. 
Also Feb. -Mar. (and perhaps Dec. ) 1840; Rosistof Mashuu, master; exchanged. 
Ki,G28 ft lumber from Sitka for wheat; tonnage, $!)6. 

Bolivar, Amer. brig, 193, 212, or 224 tons; Gorham H. Nye, master; A. B. 
Thompson, sup.; arr. in April 1836 from Honolulu, with cargo of |4,781. 
Slight troubles with authorities. Duties, §4,766. Carried John C. Jones to 
the Islands in Oct. Back March-Oct. 1837; Back again Jan.-Oct. 1838; sus- 
pected of smuggling by aid of a schr iu Drake Bay. Perhaps wintered, or 
returned in Jan. 1S39. Again, Mar. -Oct. 1840, she paid duties, §11,531. She 
was owned by Amer. at Honolulu, and valued at §7,000. 

Brixon, Engl, whaler; at Mont. Oct. 1836. 

Cadboro, Engl, schr, 71 tons; WmBrotcliie, master; from Columbia River 
in autumn of 1837 and 1838; at Bodega and San Francisco. 

California, Amev. ship, 317 or 267 tons; Jas Arther, master; Thos B. Park, 
sup. ; arr. from Boston March 4, 1836; cargo, §19,881 ; duties, §18, 117. Sailed 
for Boston Oct. 8, 1837, carrying Alfred Robinson and wife, and Mrs Wm S. 
Hinckley. Came back in Jan. 1839; still under Arther and Park; cargo, 
$30,009; duties, §25, 129. Sailed for home late in 1810. 

California, Mex. schr, 83 tons; formerly the Clarion and Kaniu. Brought 
from Honolulu by Henry Paty, who, Juno 20, 1837, sold her to Gov. Alvarado 
for §9,000, §0,424 being the duties on her cargo, and the balance in hides and 
tallow in 2 months; Paty to command for the 2 mo. (Contract in Vallejo, Doc, 
MS., xxxii. 90. See also chap, xviii., vol. iii., this work.) Rechristened 
the California and sailed Aug. 25th for S. Bias on govt business; Thos M. 
Eobbins, master. Returned Nov, 15, 1838 with Castillero and news of Al- 
varado's confirmation. (See chap, xix., vol. iii., this work). Used as a prison 
ship in Jan. 18.'S9. (Chap, xx., vol. iii.) Robinson and Reed, mates. Capt. 
Robbins made charges of mutiny against 2d mate and 2 sailors during the 
late voyage. {Vallejo, Doc, MS., vi. 348, 352-3; vii. 24; xxxii. 196.) In 
April 8 or 9 neophytes put on board to learn to be sailors. (/</., vi. 360-1, 
451.) Expenses of the vessel to April 30, 1839, besides the origmal cost. 


colors, nine Mexican, six the flag of some South 
American nation, four French, four Russian, and two 

$8,000. In May chartered to C^lis for a trip of 5 months to Acapulco and 
Manzanillo, having perhaps made a previous trip to the Islands. (Dept. Si. 
Pa}}., Com. and Treas., MS., iv. 16, 19, 39^3; Dept. Bee, MS., x. S; Sup. 
Govt St. Pap., MS., XV. 8; St. Pap., Miss., MS., ix. 59.) Left S. Francisco 
April ISth, and S. Diego June 8th, with tallow; JohnB. R. Cooper, master; 
Andrfe CastiUero, passenger. She returned in Sept. , and remained on the 
coast; though an eflbrt was made to send her to the Islands. Vallejo, Doc, 
MS., viii. 183. She left S. Fran, in Jan. 1840. Cooper had orders to go to 
S. Diego for a cargo of hides for Honolulu, devoting the proceeds to repairs; 
or he might exchange the vessel for another, paying §5,000. List of officers 
and crew in Vallejo, Doc., MS., xxxiii. 87. She sailed from S. Diego March 
16th, with Henry D. Fitch as supercargo. Cooper certifies that vessel and 
cargo belong to the Mex. govt. S. Diego, Arch., MS., 5. At Honolulu 
April-June undergoing repairs, which cost $2,222. Vallejo. Doc, M.S., xxxiii. 
58, 72, 76. Left Honolulu June lOth— Polynesian, June 20th— and arr. at S. 
Francisco, having heard of troubles at Mont, on Jidy 2d. Pinto, Doc, MS., 
i. 247-8. Brought Mr Andrews as passenger, and paid $209 duties. The 
cargo included doors, windows, honey, and a four-wheeled carriage. Went to 
Mont. July 17th-20tli; and in Aug. to Sta B. and back. Dec. 13th, sailed 
for Acapulco under a contract with Larkin, who went with his cargo. Vallejo, 
Doc, MS., xxxiii. 159-60. I have Capt. Cooper's original Log of the Califor- 
nia, MS. , which gives full details about the schooner's movements, with many 
items about other vessels. 

Catalina, Mex. brig, 161 tons; Snook, master. On the coast from Callao 
every year, 1836^0. In 1837 her cargo was seized on account of troubles 
with Fred. Becher, the supercargo. (See chap, xvii., vol. iii. ) In 1838 brought 
favorable news for Alvarado. In 1839 took §15,000 of produce from S. Fran. 
In 1840 she was under Christian Hansen as master, bringing Covarrnbias and 
the guard of the Graham exiles. (See chap. i. , this vol. ) Some contraband 
arms on board were seized. 

Cervante.1, Peruv. schr, 137 or 206 tons; Malarin, master; arr. from Callao 
Aug. 1839; cargo, 88,790; duties, $7,984; apparently the Leonidus under an- 
other name, but possibly not; also called Cervantes in 1840. 

City of Genoa, brig; at Mont. Dec. 1837 fi'om Valparaiso; so reported at 

Clara, orClarita, Mex. bark, 210 tons; Chas Wolter, master; Jos^Arnaz, 
sup.; Virmond, owner; from Acapulco 1840. Amaz says her invoice was $10,- 
000, the goods selling for $64,000. According to Spence and Davis she came 
also in 1838, vrith Celis as supercargo. 

Clarion, see California. 

Clementine, Engl, brig, 93, 76, or 160 tons. (The records are inextricably 
confused, and there may have been 2 vessels of this name, a schooner of 
1836-7, and a brig of 1839.) Wm (or Jas) Handley (or Hanly), master. At 
Mont. March 1S36, with cargo of $1,5C3, duties, $1,553, to N. Spear. Carried 
Gov. Chico away in July; back in Oct. afHicted -with sickness, desertion, and 
robbery. In Nov. carried away Gov. Gutierrez and other exiles; but returned 
in Dec. and carried part of Alvarado's army south. Wintered ou the coast, 
and in March 1837 carried PP. Bachelot and Short to Honolulu, where the 
vessel was seized by the Hawaiian govt. In July 1839 the Clementine, per- 
haps another vessel, arr. from Honolulu via Sitka, under John Blinn (or as 
some records have it, still imder Handley). Duties, $3,261, or $162. A guard 
was put on board at S. Fran. J. A. Sutter, A. Thompson, 2 Gennans, and 9 
Hawaiiana were passengers. More of Sutter and his company elsewhere. 

Coffin, Amer, whaler; at Mont. Oct. 1837. 

Columbian, Engl, ship: at S. Fran. June 183S; probably the SCereUl, q. v. 

Columbia, Engl, bark, 350 tons; Humphries, master; Wood, sup.; at Mont 

VESSELS OF 1S36-10. 103 

Hawaiian. There were several changes in national 
colors with ownership during the period. Many of 
the vessels came repeatedly to the coast during the 

Jan. 1S40 from Columbia RiTer; duties, S-,339; at Honolulu Juue-July; back 
at Mont, and S. Fran, in Aug.; cargo, 81,804; duties, §1,421. 

Commodore Eodf/, Amer. whaler; Howland, master; wrecked at Mont. 
Nov. 19, 1837; yessel lost; cargo sold at auction. 

Convoy, Amer. brig, 137 tons; Bancroft, master. Smuggling in Jan. 1836, 
according to Dana. In March sailed witli furs for Oahu. Back again in Aug. 
and sailed Oct. 4, via N. w. coast to Honolulu, which port she left again 
Oct. •27th for s. w. coast. 

Cor.-iab; Amer. brig, 161, 128, or 137 tons; Hinckley, master; at Mont. 
Aug. 1S30 from Callao; cargo, $10,178; duties, S9,-202, of which §4,7.30 in 
silver; at Sta B. in Oct. Hinckley accused of smuggling by a transfer of car- 
go, and arrested at S. Fran. ; but in 1841 the case had not been settled. Depl. 
St. Pap., Beu., MS., v. 308-41; Dept. Rec, MS., x. 31. 

Cnmader, Colombian brig; from Callao in Oct. 1837. 

Daiia'kle, Fr. corvette; Jph. de Rosamel, com.; at Mont. June-July 1840, 
in connection with the Graham affair (see chap. i. of this vol.); at Honolulu 
July '20th. 

Daniel O'Cmmell, Colombian brig; 100 tons; Andres Murcilla, master; at 
Mont. Nov. 1839; cargo, §4,056; duties, §4,407. 

Delmlra. Ecuador brig, 126 tons; Vioget, master; Miguel Pedrorena, sup.; 
on the coast in 1S37-S-9. It is said that in 1837 her duties, §G,000, were 
collected by Salv. Vallejo and Montenegro, who took goods end gave receipts, 
declaring it was no time for 'red tape and nonsense' when the soldiers were 
in need. 

Diana, Amer. brig, 199 tons; Barker, master. Wintered 1835-6, and 
sailed for Honolulu in Oct. Sold and sailed for Columbia Riv. , where she was 
in June 18S7. Name changed to Kamamalu; Wm S. Hinckley, master. At 
Sta Barbara in Oct.- Nov. as a Hawaiian bark. Wintered on the coast. 
Aground near Sta B. in April 183S. 

Don Qui rote, iVmer. bark, 223 or 260 tons; Jolm Meek, master; from Oahu 
1836; cargo, §3,340; duties, §3,445. At Mont, in Nov., when Wm S. Hinck- 
ley, her consignee and supercargo, rendered important aid to Alvarado. 
Carried horses and hides to the Isl. in Dec. : also Hinckley and old Capt. Vv'm 
Smith. In 1838 she came back under the name of Plymouth; John Paty, 
master; Eli Southworth and Wm H. Davis, passengers. In Nov. back at 
Honolulu with Southworth, H. Paty, and Master J. A. M. R. Pacheeo .is 
passengers; and sailed for Boston in Jan. 1839, with Athertou as pass. In 
Apr. 1840 she was again inCal. ; Francis Johnson, sup.; duties, §919. Pas- 
sengers, Chamberlain, Cobb, Famham, and 4 others. Farnham and J. F. B. 
M. described the voyage in print. Touched at Mont, (where she was not per- 
mitted to anchor, or any but Famham to land, until the Guipuzcoana had 
Bailed with the exiles), Sta B., and Mazatlan. In July back at Mont.; duties, 
|1,7'23. In Oct. carried 3 Cal. boys to attend school at Honolulu — David 
Spence, Francis Watson, and llomualdo Pacheeo. 

Dolphin, sea Leonidas. 

Elena, Russ. brig, 309 tons; Stephen Vallivode (?), master; took §ll,000of 
produce from S. Fran. Sept. 1839; and in Dec. 1840 paid §349 tonnage; from 
which was deducted §90 illegally collected from the Baibil. 

Europ^i, Amer. ship; Wm Wiukworth, master; Wm French, sup.; at 
Mont. Oct. 1836, from Honolulu via Norfork Sd.; much damaged by rough 
wc ather. Mr French helped Alvarado in Nov. , and sailed from Sta B. in Jan. 
1837, carrying Jas Murphy and Jas W. Mcintosh to the Islands. 

Fearnaiight, Engl, schr, 91 tons; Robt U. Dare, master; autumn of 1S38; 
duties, §571. 

Mibbei-tyijihbeit, Engl, schr; Rodgers, master; made a trip from Honolulu to 


five years; eighteen appear in the list of the preceding 
half-decade. Whalers were nine; national vessels of 
war or exploration, seven; and the remaining forty- 

Ci'.l. aud back, May-Sept, 1S3S; and again returned from Cal. in May 1839; 
Hart, master. 

Fl;i, Eng. echr; Wilson, master; from Callao -via Honolulu, Aug. 1840; 
duties, $193. Capt. Stokes and 2 masters Wilson as passenaers. She seenis 
to have changed her &a,g—liepL St. Pap., MS., v. 64— and was at Sta B. 
under Stokes iu Oct. 

Forager, Eng. brig; sailed from Honolulu in Aug. 1840, for Col. Paver and 
Cal. No record of arrival. 

Griffon, Anier. brig; Little, master; trip from Honolulu to Cal. and back, 
Aug.-Nov. 1837. John C. Jones and R. C'owic came on her. 

Harvest, Amer. ship, 307 tons; probably wlialer; A. Cash, master; at S. 
Fran. Nov. 1837. 

Hactor, Amer. whaler; Norton, master; at Mont. Oct. 1836. 

Index, Eng. bark, 201 tons; John Wilson, muster; Oct. -Dec. 183S; ton- 
nage, $371; Aug. 1839; June-Dec, 1S40, from Callao; Scott, master; duties, 

Indian, Eng. whaler; Freeman, master; Oct. 1837. 

lolani, Hawaiian schr; Paty, master; trip from Honolulu to Cal. and back, 
Dec-April, 1837-8. Wrecked in May. 

Ionic, Amer. schr, 9o tons; Clark, master; sailed from Honolulu Sept. 
1836 for Cal. No record of arrival. 

Isabel/a, schr fonnerly of Sandw. Isl. Sold at S. Fran. 1836. Plying on 
the bay until 1839, and perhaps later; N. Spear, owner. Shecarried Sutter's 
party up the Sacramento. 

Joseph, Fr. whaler; 1839. Lost 14 deserters. 

Joseph Peabody, Amer. brig, 220 tons; John Dominis, master; from N. Y. 
to Hon. in Apr. 1839. Touched at Sta B. in Oct. on voy. from Sitka to Jlaz- 
atlan with liiiii1>pv. Rci'n^oil to pay tonuage. At Sta B. again Oct. 1840; 
captain ill. , \ ' ' i < : ; ■ ' ' ■ " i Xo v. 

JdvenV":, i .. lirig, 210 tons; arr. from Boston in Feb. 1840 as 

the Roger 11 ." . . .i . .^ miis, master; Jos. Steele, owner. Sold in March 
for §13,000, lu.l. A. Aguuiv. Soberane.i, Doc, 190-3. Jolm Snook became 
master. In May carried the Graham exiles to S. Bias, returning iu Sept. 
Some of her original crew were among the exiles. 

Jnan Jose, Colombian brig, 217 tons; Thos Duncan, master; Cot and J!o- 
nendez, owners; Pecirorena, sup.; arr. from Callao, Oct. 18.39; cargo,- S8,348; 
duties, 87.798; agam in Aug. 1840; cargo, $9,605; duties, $9,932; tonnage at 
S. Fran., §243. 

Kamamalu. See Dinna. 

Kent, Amer. bark, 264 tons; John Stickney, master; left Sta B. in Dec 
1836 for Honolulu, carrying slight reports of the revolution. Came back iu 
May, 1837; and again in Oct. under Steel, to winter. Left S. Diego for Bos- 
ton in Oct. 1838. Capt. Thing, passenger. 

Lausanne, Amer. ship; Spalding, master; at Bodega and S. Fran July 
1840. She landed some immigrants from Oregon, aud had trouble with the 
authorities. At Honolulu in Aug. Dutton, Wright, and Geiger, pass. Sailed 
for N. Y. ill Dec. 

Leonidcts, Mex. schr, 206 tons (formerly the Amer. Dolphin); ou the 
coast in 1836; Gomez, master; cargo, $9,000; duties, $1,112. In Nov. car- 
ried south news of the revolt, and Negrete and other exiles. Back from Maza- 
tlan in 18S7: Juan Malarin. master; and again in 1838; duties, $420. In 18.';9, 
and in some ixcmi-Is .1 l^!ll, !m v\,- called the Ceruante, q. v. Nye, and later 
Stevens, an- hhim J .- i ■ 1 - hi. 

Leonor, Mix. l:.:!-, - - I :, , ' : as Wolter, master. Brought Gov. Chico 

VESSELS OF 1S3G-40. 105 

five traders. Of these, eighteen came mainly from 
Mexican and South American ports, seventeen from 
Honolulu, sis from Boston, four from Sitka and Ross, 

iu 1836; cargo, |21,202; duties, $2,546. Remained till Nov., and perhaps 
wintered. At S. Fran, in March 1837. Left Mont. Feb. 1S3S. 

Llama. Eugl. brig, 144 tons; at S. Fran. Feb.-April, 1837; Wm Brotchie, 
master; Eobt Bimie, agent. Back at Col. Riv. Sept.; Wm Neil, master. 
At Hon. July; Sangster, master. Sailed for N. w. coast Aug. ; Bancroft, 
master. Otter-hunting in Cal. in spring of 1838. At Hon. July-Aug., sailing 
for N. w. coast. At Sta Rosa Isl. Nov., where Bancroft was killed (see text). 
Robinson took her north and to Hon. in Jan. 1839. 

Loriot, Amer. brig, 90 tons; at Honolulu from Cal. Aug. 1836. Trip to 
N. w. coast under Blinn, Aug. -Oct. On Cal. coast from the north Feb.-Mar. 
1837; John Bancroft, master (see text for passengers and details). At Hon. 
May, and sailed for Mazatlau under Handley. Back again, and sailed for the 
Col. Riv. in Nov. 

Monsoon, Amer. ship, 327 tons; Geo. W. Vincent, master; Thos Shaw, 
sup.; Robt G. Davis, clerk; at Sta B. April 1839 from Boston; tonnage, 
§490; duties at Mont., §27,432, of which !p9,608 in silver. 'No small lift 
for the treasury,' wrote Alvarado. In July transferred part of her cargo to 
the Index. Still on the coast at end of 1840. 

Morse, Amer. schr, 85 tons; Henry Paty, master; from the Islands Dec. 
1839; cargo, $3,268; duties, $3,042; also duties, $3,041, in spring of 1840. 
Came back from Hon. in June; Fitch, master and half owner; and with a 
new name, the Nymph, or Ninfa. Duties, $10,577. Value of vessel, $8,000. 
At S. Diego in Dec, to sail for Mazatlan with produce. 

Nancy, whaler; Fautrel, master; at Mont. April 1837. 

Nereid, Engl, ship, 365 tons; Wm Brotchie, master; at Honolulu from 
Col. Riv. and sailed for Cal. in May 1838. Lawrence Carmichae), pass. At 
S. Fran, in June, and back at Hon. in Jan. 1839. 

Nicolas, schr, belonging to Spear. Running between Monterey and Sta 
Cruz in 1836, and on S. Fran. Bay in 1839^0. 

Nikolai, Russ. ship; Baewdsxig (?), or Kuprianof, master; 6 off. and 61 
men; at S. Fran. Oct. -Nov. 1840, in ballast for Valparaiso and Europe. 

Nymph. See Morse. 

Peacock, U. S. sloop of war, 600 tons; Com. Edmund P. Kennedy; Capt. 
C. K. Stribling; at Mont, from the Sandw. Isl. Oct. 1836. Sailed for Maz- 

Peor es Nada, Cal. schr; Gerard Kuppertz, master. Lost at entrance of 
S. Fran. Bay Jan. 7, 1836, on atrip from ilont. with lumber. Dept. St. Pap., 
Bw. Mil, Sis., Ixxxi. 17. 

Pilgrim, Amer. ship; Faucon, master; on the coast iu 1836. Sailed for 
Boston in Feb. 1837. 

Plymouth. See Don Quixnte. 

Masyelwi, Amer. ship, 2G4 tons; Jos. 0. Carter, master; A. B. Thompson, 
consignee; Josiah Thompson, sup.; at Mont, from Sitka Oct. 1830 for Hono- 
lulu. The captain's wife and sou wei-e on board; also Ferdinand Deppe. 
Back iu winter of 1837-8; cargo, $8,747; duties, $8,817. Carried to Hon. 
hides, horses, and sundries from the wreck of the Com. Rodrjers. Made an- 
other trip to Cal. and back Sept.-Dec. 1838; Barker, master; duties, $1,063. 
J. C. Jones and Eliab Grimes, pass. Sailed for Boston in Feb. 1839, with 
Grimes as pass. 

Roger Williams. See J6ven Guipiizcoana. 

Sarah and Caroline, Amer. ship, 396 tons; Jos Steel, master. Called 
also Caroline and South Carolina. Arr. Mont. May 1836 from Boston via 
Honolulu. Cargo, $11,289. Steel rendered some aid to Alvarado in Nov. 


and four from the Columbia River, though many ves- 
sels visited all the regions named. Three small craft 
plied in Californian waters exclusively. 

Aground at S. Fran, in Feb. 1837. Left the coast in Oct. for Boston via 
Honolulu; Stickuey, master (?); Henry Paty, passenger. 

St Louis, U. S. man-of-war; French Forrest, com. ; at Mont. June-July 
1840 on business connected with Graham affair. 

Sitka, Kuss. bark, '202 tons, 22 men; Basil Wacvocky (?), master. Left 
Ca!. Jan. 1836 for S. Bias and returned in Aug. from Ross. At S. Fran. Oct. 
1837; Stephen VaUobodski (?), master. Again Oct. -Nov. 183S; Rosistof (?), 

Soj^hia, dou1)tful name of 1839. 

Sraiiiiirj, Engl, ship, 109 tons; tender to the Sulphur; Lieut. Kellett, 
com. ; on the coast 1837 and 1839. 

Sulphur, Engl, man-of-war, 380 tons; Edward Belcher, com. ; on the coast 
autumn of 1837 and again in autumn of 1839, engaged in explorations. 
Belcher's visit and book are noticed elsewhere. 

Toward Castle, Engl, whaler; Emmett, master; at Mont. Nov. 1837. 
Wrecked on the coast a little later. 

True Blue, Haw. schr; Ragsdale, master; arr. Honolulu from Cal. July 

Union, or Unity, schr; A. B. Thompson, sup.; at Mont, and Sta B. Mar.- 
Apr. 1840; tonnage, SCO. 

Vdoz Asturiano, Ecuador brig, 179 tons; Cdrlos V. Gafan, master; at 
Mont, from CiUao, 1837, with cargo of 8907 (?); duties, 81,504. 

I'Vnw-s French corvette; Petit-Thouars, master; at Mont. Oct.-Nov. 1837. 
Visit and book noted elsewhere. 

The chief authorities for the information in this list are the following: 
Dept. St. P<ip., Ben. Cust.-H., MS., iii.-viii. passim; Id., Ben. Com. and 
Treas., iii.; Id., Ben., iii.; Vallejo, Doc., MS., iv.; v. 282; xiv. 252; xxv. 255; 
.xxvi. 164, 177; xxxu. 173, 352; Larlin's Doc., MS., i. 400; Pinto, Doc, US., 
i. SO-l; Fitch, Doc, US.; Gomez, Doc, MS., Si-7;Spence'sLiM, US.;Edwards' 
Diary, MS.; JHchardscm, Salidas de Buques del jmerto de S. Fran., 1S;17-S, a 
very important original record kept by the captain of the port; Hayes' Emig. 
Kol'-. M> ; .1/" "■ Ji' ',■'</ A rr.-Aia CaZ.,7555-40, MS., a very important 
rccor.l ', . !. 1" III ^ V ; |. I , c.^rae out as clerk on the CaH/ornin; 
Da i- Ik, US.; Dana's Two Years; JJonotula 

S. I. '. r_ ', , I ,:;;-.i; //,,,,,/,, J',.',/.„:.4an, 1840. These Sandwich Island 
newsp.ipers arc amour; tijc best maritime records. Uufortuuately I have no 
ijle from the middle of 1839 to the middle of 1840. 




Foreign Influence in the Revolution — Intebfekence as a Cokrent 
Topic— Attitude of Different Classes— Feench Relations— Ru- 
mored Cession of California to England — Quotations from Ameri- 
can Papers- Policy in 1837-8 — Hokse-thieves— Restrictions of 
1839-40 — The Exiles — Pioneers — Personal Items — Authorities — 
Statistics— SoJttETHiNG about the Old Settlers — Their Character 
and Influence — Prominent Names — New-comers of 1836-40— Most 
OF Them Transient Visitors — Immigration — Annual Lists— Chrono- 
logical Items — The 'Lausanne' and her Passengers at Bodega. 

On matters relating more or less directly to the 
general subject of foreign relations, though I have al- 
ready had much to say in other chapters devoted to 
the current history of this period/ there yet remains 
much to be written, since the influence of foreign resi- 
dents had already become a powerful element, and was 
destined in a few 3'ears to be the all-controlling one. 
In this and the following chapters I have to present 
some remarks on the influence and policy of the foreign 
element, and the feeling of the Californians toward the 
strangers. Also the names and personal items relat- 
ing to new-comers and older settlers, with an account 
of the old and new foreign settlements in California 

'See particularly, Hist. Cat, vol. iii., chap, xv., this series, on 'Chico V3 
Steams and other foreigners;' chap, xvi., on the attitude of foreigners in Al- 
varado'a revolution; chap, xviii, , on their aid to the Californians in 1837; 
chap. i. of tliis vol., on the Graham affair and expulsion of foreigners in 1840; 
and chap, iii., on the movements of vessels and commercial operations, largely 
controlled by foreigners. 



at Ross and New Helvetia; also some notices of for- 
eign visits to the coast and of resulting publications. 
In 1836 foreign residents in the north, while those 
in the south were for the most part neutral from force 
of circumstances, supported the Californians in their 
revolution against Mexico. Those of influence, wealth, 
and position rendered a quiet but none the less efiect- 
ive support; while others with nothing to- risk formed 
themselves into a company of so-called riflemen and 
openly served in the insurgent ranks. The former 
cared little for California's alleged grievance, the change 
from the federal system to centralism ; but they had 
some cause of complaint against Chico and Gutierrez, 
and they expected to derive important commercial ad- 
vantages from the revolution. Merchants engaged 
in the Hawaiian trade were especially active in pro- 
moting the movement, and there are some indications 
that they had an understanding with the Californian 
leaders for some time before the outbreak. It is even 
difficult to resist the conclusion that Commodore Ken- 
nedy, visiting Monterey on the U. S. man-of-war Pea- 
coc/o just before the revolution, must have known some- 
thing of the impending trouble; though not of course, 
as was suspected by the Mexicans, entertaining any 
intention of interfering in behalf of the United States. 
What the foreigners desired was the complete and 
permanent independence of California from ]\texico, 
with the expectation of being able to control the 
Californian rulers. Many Americans desired further 
by a Texan system of development to attach the coun- 
try eventually to their own nation, and some of them 
talked openly of immediate annexation. This spirit, 
though manifested chiefly by irresponsible men, was 
sufficiently marked to alarm not only the Mexicans, 
but to some extent also the Californians and foreigners 
of other nations; and it doubtless had an influence in 
efft'cting a return of the country to its Mexican alle- 
giance, at which most foreigners were greatly disap- 


After 1836, foreign interference, in the form of con- 
quest, protectorate, purchase, or annexation, was often 
talked about, though remarks on the subject were 
generally without definite cause or aim. Mexicans 
held it up as an ever impending danger, with a view 
to awaken the dormant prejudice of patriotism. On 
it the surenos affected to base largely their bitter op- 
position to northern rulers. Nortenos who like Va- 
llejo had quarrels with Alvarado spoke of it as a result 
only to be averted by full acceptance of their own views. 
Solid citizens of foreign birth, like visitors from foreign 
lands, speculated somewhat philosophically on the re- 
sult, each with a half-expressed hope that Califor- 
nia might be so fortunate as to belong ultimately 
to his own nation. Enthusiastic Yankee hunters and 
sailors declaimed louder than all the rest upon the 
manifest destiny of the stars and stripes to wave over 
this fair land. Meanwhile the mass of native Califor- 
nians simply smoked their cigarettes and waited, half 
inclined to believe that a change of flag might not 
result in irreparable disaster.^ 

^Robinson, Statement, MS., 16, 21-2, asserts that prominent Californians, 
and even the missionaries, used to express to him their belief that it would be 
best for the country to belong to the U. S. Many Californians in their rem- 
iniscences express tire same idea; but all such statements are considerably ex- 
aggerated. Petit-Thouars, Voyage, ii. 101-4, found Cal. iu 1837 in an un- 
fortunate position, too feeble and baclcward in civilization for independence, 
neglected by Mexico, and iu a deplorable, necessity of foreign support. The 
U. S. had doubtless a design to secure Cal. and the Sandwich Islands, and 
would probably succeed, though the people had no special liking for the Amer- 
icans, whose motives they distrusted. Speaking of S. F., this author says: 
' It would perhaps be difficult to say to which nation this fine port will belong; 
but in the present state of affaii-s in Europe and America, it is very likely that 
the power which shall have the happy boldnesa to take actual possession will 
have little trouble to keep it.' Forbes, Hist. Cal., 151-2, writes in 1838: 
' It is at least evident now, if there was any doubt fonnerly, that it [Cal.] is at 
this moment in a state which cannot prevent its being taken possession of by 
any foreign force that may present itself. The British government seem lately 
to have had some suspicion that Cal. would Ijc eucroached upon if not taken 
entire possession of by the Russians; but by the latest accounts no encroach- 
ment has been made, nor has any augmentation been made either in tlie num- 
ber of people iu the colony or in the fortifications. The danger does not lie 
there. There is another restless and enterprising neighbor from whom they 
will most probably soon have to defend themselves, or rather to submit to; 
for although the frontiers of North America are much more distant than the 
Russians, yet to such men as the Back-settlers distance is of little moment, 
and they are already acquainted with the route. The northern Auierican 
tide of population must roll on southward, and overwhelm not only Cal. but 


In 1839, there was a little excitement over the trou- 
bles between Mexico and France; but it expended it- 
self in routine orders published in accordance with 
instructions from the national government, as there 
was no apprehension of French encroachment in the 
far north.^ The French were always well liked in 
California since the time of La Perouse. Three vis- 
itors of that nation were most hospitably received dur- 
ing the period now under consideration, and we have 
seen that but few Frenchmen were arrested and none 
exiled in the troubles of 1840. 

A matter which attracted some attention in Cal- 
ifornia, and created no little excitement in the United 
States, was the rumored cession of the country to 
England in payment of the Mexican debt. This in- 
debtedness was large; and among the expedients de- 
vised for its payment there were several, proposed 
and discussed in 1836 as well as earlier and later, 
which involved the pledging, as security for Mexican 
bonds or otherwise, of tracts of land in the far north, 
anywhere from Texas to California. All this has no 
bearing on the history of California, beyond the fact 
that there were such negotiations, as the expedient 
seems not to have been approved by the Mexican 
congress, and this territory was onlj' mentioned inci- 
dentally with half a dozen others. In connection, 
however, with these schemes there may have origi- 

other more important states. This latter event, however, is in the womb of 
time; but the invasion of Cal. by American settlers is daily talked of; and if 
Santa Anna had prevailed against Texas, a portion of its inhabitants suffi- 
cient to overrun Cal. would now have been its masters.' Laplace, Campag)>c, 
V. 302-4, speaks of the prospective conquest by the U. S. as a thing rather to 
be desired than avoided. IJavis, Ollmpses, MS., 34-C, writes: 'For a long 
time before 1S40 it liad been the common talk among Americans — when by 
themselves or among the rancheros— that the U. S. would have Cal.' April 
16, 1840, Pablo de la Guerra congratulates M. G. Vallejo on the large num- 
ber of foreign settlers in the country, the largest part being English — from 
Canada, Nova Scotia, and Ireland — who are hard drinkers, but •hoU perhaps, 
like wine, improve with time. Vallejo, Doc, MS., i. 30. 

'See Hist. Cal., vol. iii. , chap, xx., this series, for reference to many com- 
munications on this subject. April 20, 1838, Mexican order to admit no 
French vessel except in case of shipwreck. Sup. Govt St. Pap., MS., xiv. 1. 
JIar. 26, 1839, notice of peace and suspension of all hostile measures. Vallejo, 
Doc, MS., i. 168. 


nated a proposition to cancel the debt at once by a 
cession of the Californias. I have no ofBcial evidence 
that the proposition was entertained. Such, however, 
was the rumor that came to GaUfornia in 1837, from 
different sources, a rumor accepted and pubhshed as 
a fact by Forbes in 1839, and cited by the American 
papers. To show the spirit in which the matter was 
discussed, I append some quotations.* It is clear that 

* ' There have been some thoughts o£ proposing to Mexico that it should 
endeavor to cancel the English debt, which now exceeds $50,000,000, by a 
transfer of Cal. to the creditors. This would be a wise measure on the part 
of Mexico if the govt could be brought to lay aside the vanity of retaining 
large possessions. The cession of such a disjointed part of the republic 
would be an advantage. In no case can it ever be profitable to the Mexican 
republic, nor can it possibly remain united to it for any length of time, if it 
should even be induced to rejoin it. But would the English creditors accept 
of it? I think they might, and I think they ought. They have lately dis- 
played an inclination to treat and to receive lauds as a part of the debt where 
uo land exists belonging to Mexico. Texas in which Mexico does not own 
an acre and in New Jlexico which is — God knows where. . .If Cal. was ceded, 
the creditors might be formed into a company, with the dififerenoe that they 
should have a sort of sovereignity over the territory, somewhat in the man- 
ner of the East India Co. This in my opinion would certainly bi-ing a reve- 
nue in time which might be equal to the interest of the debt, and under good 
management and with an English population would most certainly realize 
all that has been predicted of this fair country.' Forbes' Hist. Cal., 152-3. 
(See also note 2.) Mention of the proposed cession as probable and very de- 
sirable for England in New Orleans Bulletin, Feb. 19, 1S40, and other papers 
of the same city. Niks' Register, March 7, 1840, Iviii. 2. ' Nothing would 
be more probable than that Mexico would willingly part with a territory 
which she cannot occupy, and to which in the course of things she could not 
long extend even a nominal claim. The policy of the English govt looks 
toward nothing more favorably than to the acquisition of territory. The 
possession of Cal. would strengthen her in carrying out her pretensions to the 
Oregon temtory, which she not only claims, but already occupies. The 
whole coast of the Pacific would thus be in the grasp of a powerful nation — 
a nation that never lets slip an occasion of extending the limits of her domain. 
That any foreign (not U. S.) power would ever be able permanently to hold 
such a position we do not believe, but it might cost much trouble to effect a 
dislodgment if once the possession is allowed.' Baltimore American, in Id. 
'The transfer by Mexico to such a power as Britain would be alike unopposed 
and unopposable unless some point of etiquette with regard to old Spain 
stood in the way. Such a transfer, however, at this time of day is not likely 
to take place after all, although hard cash might be considered by all men a 
fair enough equivalent, and although nothing but good would probably fol- 
low to the Califomians. But Russia and the U. S. — whose mighty tide of 
population is perpetually rolling inward and southward — may not be so 
scrupulous, and may take the land without any trouble obout transfers.' 
Chambers' Edin. Journal, Aug. 24, 1839, in a review of Forbes' book. ' Russia 
and the U. S. , the latter especially, the only just govt that has ever existed 
less scrupulous than Great Britain. This is too pleasant! Our unsettled 
debt of grievances .against the Mexicans happily puts us in a situation to in- 
sist upon their refusal of the proposition which has indubitably been made 
them by the British govt. Let us profit by it, nor suffer, if we can help it, 
our ancient mother to acquire a possession which uo American can fail to 


Englishmen favored the scheme, and equally clear 
that Americans were bitterl}' opposed to it, predict- 
ing that the United States must one day extend to 
the Pacific, and gravely asserting that it would be 
easier to prevent another nation from getting Cali- 
fornia than to dispossess that nation later. Not that 
England had not a right to acquire the country; but 
the United States had also a right to prevent it 
through their influence on the weaker sister republic. 
There is, however, no evidence that either govern- 
ment at this time took part in the schemes of its 
patriotic subjects. We shall see that the matter did 
not end with 1840, but had a still more jaotent inter- 
est in later years. 

Meanwhile the policy observed within the limits 
of California was by no means oppressive to foreign 
residents. In 1836, before the revolution, Gutierrez 
and Chico called for registers of foreign residents, re- 
quiring them to appear before the local authorities to 
prove their right to be in the country. This, though 
it caused a degree of inconvenience and discontent, 
was in accordance with the laws, and with instructions 
from Mexico calling for a full report. The orders 

perceive at a glance would in such hands be a source of difficulties to us and a 
stumbling-block to our posterity . . Fifty yeai-s, were we left to extend our- 
selves without impediment, would inevitably see us in possession of Upper 
Cal. The interest of the south-west would call for it, and its purchase from 
Mexico, should Mexico still retain it, would put us where the surf of the 
Pacific would be our safe and proper border, not the forts of a nation whose 
very kindred renders them, through jealousy, the least amiable of neighbors. 
It were wise not to leave this to contingency.' New York Ameriran, in com- 
ments on the preceding. Idles' Reg., Iviii. TO. Account of the negotiations 
for securing debt by lands, from New Orleans Picai/une, in /(/., Ixiii. "243. 
' France has long looked with jealous eye upon the movements of Great Brit- 
ain in relation to Mexico . . . England has chipped off two or tliree little bits 
from Mexico, and is now about to make final arrangements for taking posses- 
sion of the whole territory of Cal. . .To check this France recognizes Texas. . . 
and Te.xas lays claim to Cal.' JV. Y. Heraid, in Honolulu Polynesian, tioT. 21, 
1S40. Proposition to transfer Cal. in 1839 for tlie British claim of §50,000,- 
000 mentioned in Minerva, May 20, 1845. See also Lancet's Cruise, 31. Dec. 
2G, 1837, Vallejo to Alvarado. Has good reason to believe that Califomians 
will soon become North Americans. The Mex. gort has offered Cal. to Eng- 
land in payment of debts, and England has ceded her right to the govt at 
Washington. Vallejo, Doc., MS., iv. 368. Dec. 14, 1837, prefect Moreno to 
Zacatecan padres. Soon perhaps they may set out for their college, since P. 
Perez writes that Mexico contemplates the cession of Cal. to a foreign power, 
'lo quo Dios no permita.' Arch. Vbispndo, MS., 59. 


were generally obeyed, and fortunately for us, since 
the result was a very complete list of foreigners at 
the beginning of this period.^ After the revolution 
and down to the time that California returned defi- 
nitely to her Mexican allegiance, there was no inter- 
ference with foreigners, even to the extent of enforcing 
the regulations respecting passports, except that de- 
serters were sometimes returned to their vessels as an 
act of favor to the captains, that foreign like native 
criminals were sometimes mildly prosecuted, and that 
there were troubles from time to time, particularly 
with foreign horse-thieves.® This policy was the re- 
sult partly of the civil strife which occupied the exclu- 
sive attention of the authorities, and was in part due 
to the Californians' feeling of gratitude and friendship 
toward the men who had aided them. 

The result of this non-interference during 1836-8 
was bad in every way. The worst element of the for- 
eign population was largely increased by desertions 
from vessels on the coast; the vagabond allies of lud- 

6 Orders of April-May 1836, in S. Dkgo, Arch., MS., 100, 105; Dept. St. 
Pap., Aug., MS., xi. 46; Id., Monterey, iU. 64; Alvarado, Hist. Cod., MS., 
iii. 55. 

^ Sept. 1836, Doyle and liis band of liorse-tbieves. Valhjo, Doc, MS., iii. 
133; Caslro, Doc, JIS., i. 29. Oct. 1837, Alvarado alarmed at the boldness 
of trapper horse-thieves in all the interior valleys, some of whom appeared at 
Staines in Oct. He fears they may attempt a revolution; but has taken 
steps to balk their plans, and to protect property. Vallejo, Doc, MS., iv. 
322. April 1837, reports of trade in stolen cattle by American trappers in 
the Tulares. Id., xxxii. 84. Nov. 1837, Foreign vagrants, deserters, etL-., 
about S. Rafael must be arrested and sent to Sonoma. No stranger to be per- 
mitted to remain in that region without a pass. Id., iv. 343. 1838, region 
about S. F. Bay infested with robbers. Store robbed at S. F. in Oct. , two for- 
eigners being among the thieves. Id., v. 60, 62, 204. Depredations at S. 
Luis Obispo. Six Englishmen among the Indian robbers. Id., v. 220. For- 
eign merchants accuse'd of sowing discord among people of their own tongue 
with sinister views. Vallejo to Alvarado, Sept. 1. Sutter, Person. Semiii., 
MS., 4, gives an idea of the kind of men vAw wanted to come to Cal. when 
he says tliat at Wind River volunteers were numerous who wished to accom- 
pany him with a view to plunder the missions and ranches. May, 1838, Va- 
llejo recommends the chartering of a vessel to send out of the country all t'.io 
turbulent element causing so much trouble. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xiv. 24. 00 
French hunters in the Tulares. Id., v. 12. Dec. 18, 1839, two foreigners 
banished for robbing Spear's store. Dejit. St. Pap., Mont., MS. , iv. 1 10. For- 
eigners very favorably received in Cal. Forbes' Hist. Cat, 322-3. Adventur- 
ous immigrants crowding in, ehieily deserters. Laplace, Campagne, vi. 191- 
2. 1840, pursuit of horse-thieves in the region of Los Angeles. Dept. St^ 
Pap., Angeles, MS., iv. 9it-106. 
Hist. Cal., Vol. IV. 8 


ian horse-thieves in the interior valleys became more 
numerous and bold; foreign interference in Califoriiian 
politics came to be regarded as a natural and legiti- 
mate thing; foreign conquest or annexation was a 
common topic of conversation; and the men who had 
personally aided Alvarado became intolerably familiar, 
insolent, and lawless, even if they did not actually plot 
against the government. The interests of all good 
citizens, native and foreign, at home, as well as orders 
from Mexico, required a renewal of the old precautions 
in 1839-40.' It was deemed necessary, however, to 
go somewhat further than to compel new-comers to 
comply with the laws, by sending away many who 
had entered the country illegally, together with a few 
who had some right to remain but were accused of 
plotting revolution. Hence the exile of nearly fifty 
persons in 1840. Enough has already been said about 
this affair; and the reader is well aware that though 
technically an outrage in the case of certain individu- 
als, and not very wisely managed in all respects, it 
was yet a legitimate measure of self-protection on the 
part of the Californians, approved more or less fully 
by the best foreign residents, and in no sense the out- 
growth of an oppressive foreign policy, as it was rep- 
resented in certain quarters for political effect. 

' Many orders of various dates in 1839-40 requiring compliance on tlie part 
of foreigners with the laws. No foreigner to land, remain, or travel in Cal. 
without the necessary naturalization papers, passports, cartas de seguridaJ, 
or other legal documents. Also orders for new lists and registers of foreigners. 
Dept. .?/. Pap., MS., iv. 107. 12S-3C; xv. 1-2; Id., Aug., iv. 110; v. G, 56; 
xi. 9, 118; Id., Mont., iv. 22; Id., S. Jose, v. 72; Id., Ben. Pre/, y Jiizri.,xi. 
72; fjipt. I!ec., MS., xi. 15, 38, 71; Sup. Govt St. Pap., MS., xv. 13; xvi. 
10; siri, Barbara, Arch., MS., 5; S. Diego, Arch., MS., 252-66; Sta Cruz, 
Arch., MS., 27; S. Josi, Arch., MS., iii. 39; EstudiUo, Doc, MS., ii. 5-6; 
Vallejo, Doc. Hist. Mex., MS., i. 257, 205. Aug. 10, 1839, decree of Jinieno 
requiring deserters from whalers to be arrested and sent back; also forbidding 
the men to remain on shore after sunset -without a pass from the juez dc paz. 
Larkiii's Doc, MS., i. 18; Hunt's Merchants' Mag., iii. 461-2. It is charged 
by some, perhaps without much foundation, that a system of ' shanghaeing ' 
was pr.ictiscd at Jlonterey. Captains in want of sailors would apply to Lar- 
kin, at whose request an order would be issued to put every sailor about the 
place ill the calabozo so that the captains could have their pick, the rest being 
released. 1839, Gen. Vallejo to pres., min. war, and others, urging the im- 
portance of taking measures to prevent the encroachments of Americans and 
Russians. Vallejo, Doc, MS., vii. 28; viii. 333; Id., Ord. de la Com. Gen., 17. 


In 1836, as has been shown in an earlier chapter, the 
foreign male population of the territory, including only- 
men whose residence was in a sense permanent, was 
approximately three hundred, most of whose names 
are mentioned in one record or another of the half 
decade 1836-40, though some are only known to have 
been in California earlier and later. For items of 
information about these men during this and other 
j)eriods, I refer the reader to the Pioneer Register at 
the end of these volumes.^ Of them as a class there 
is not much to be said beyond the fact that they con- 
stituted an influential and highly respected element 
of the population, largely controlling the commercial 
industry of the country. Many were naturalized, 
married to Californian wives, and the possessors of 
lands in their adopted countr^^; while many more 
counted on securing all those advantages at an early 
date. All were enthusiastic in their admiration of 
California's natural advantages and in their predic- 
tions of her future greatness. In business they were 
as a rule straightforward, reliable men, and though 
they had lost, especially those who no longer followed 
the sea, something of their old activity, and were fast 
learning how to 'take things easy,' they were yet 

' Extensive lists of resident foreigners for the period of 1836-40 are found 
in the naturalization records. Dept. St. Pap., MS., xix. xx., passim; Larkin's 
Accountu, MS., i.-v., passim; Larkin's Papers, MS., a collection of miscella- 
neous commercial correspondence; Spear's Papers, JIS., a similar collection; 
and also in the various county histories that liave been recently published, 
and from which I have obtained many useful items. From the reminiscences 
of many pioneers I have also derived much aid. See also chap. iii. of this 
vol., for annual lists of vessels and their masters. For 1S36 I may refer to 
the following special lists: For Monterey district, Monlcreij, Padron, 1S3G, 
MS.; VaUejo,Doc., MS., iii. 190; /(/., xxxii. 14, etc. For Los Angeles dis- 
trict, Los Anrjeks, Arch., MS., i. 87, 100-1, 121-4; Los Angeles, Hist., 19, 
57-8; Los Angdes Express, Mar. 2, 1872, the first including a list of for- 
eigners concerned in the affair of the vigilantes. For Sta Barbara district, 
Dept. St. Pap., MS., iv. loG-60; Pico, Papeles de Misiones, MS., 83; and for 
S. Diego, St. Pap., Sac., MS., xii. 15. For 1840 see the following: Karnes 
of over 100 persons concerned in the Graham affair, in chap. i. of this vol. ; 
Sup. Govt St. Pap., MS., xvi. 10; some general lists in Pico, Papeles de Mis., 
MS., 47-51; Dept. Rec, MS. xi. 58-9, 77. Angeles, Dept. St. Pap., MS., 
xviii. 23; Sta Barbara, Id., xviii. 62; S. Diego, Id., Angeles, i. 1; iii. 39; S. 
3osi, Dept. St. Pap., MS., xviii. 43; Branciforte, Id., xviii. 71-3; S. F., 
Dwinelk's Colon. Hist. S. F'co, add., 72-3. 


Y/onderfully energetic as compared with the natives. 
Socially they were rough and hearty in manner, hos- 
pitable as the people among whom they had come to 
live, and ever ready to entertain a stranger, but in 
most cases manifesting by far too strong a liking for 
intoxicating drinks. In politics, especially in com- 
parison with the new-comers of the period, of whom 
I shall speak presently, they formed a conservative 
element, avoiding partisan interference. While de- 
ploring the evident evils and weaknesses of the gov- 
ernmental management, and quietly supporting such 
measures as seemed to promise reform, they avoided 
controversy with officials and leading men of the de- 
partment, and especially of the localities where they 
resided. They were not the men who talked loud of 
foreign interference, though most of them foresaw a 
change of flag in the not very distant future. They 
furnished but ten or twelve of the forty-seven men 
sent away for the country's good in 1840. Individu- 
ally, Isaac Graham was more prominent, especially in 
respect of what has been said and written about him, 
than any other man in the list, though by no means 
among the most worthj^ of a favorable prominence. 
Chief among his comrades were Chard, Carmichael, 
and Morris. Captains Cooper and Fitch combined 
the vocations of trader, ranchei'o, and mariner. 
David Spence retained his influence at the capital. 
Richardson, Ijeese, Spear, and Davis developed the 
latent glories of San Francisco. Stearns speculated 
and indulged his propensity for contraband trade at 
Los Angeles and San Pedro. Prudon organized the 
vigilants and showed his skill with the pen. Hart- 
nell worthil}' filled several high positions under the gov- 
ernment. Larkin slowly built up his fortunes at Mon- 
terey. Robinson travelled incessantly from point to 
point in the interests of the Boston merchants. Hinck- 
ley cracked his jokes and defied the revenue officers 
from north to south. Among traders who followed the 
sea to some extent, but had commercial and other inter- 

NEW-COJIERS Oi<' 1836-10. 117 

ests in California as well as elsewhere, I may name 
Jones, McKinley, Park, Robbins, Scott, Snook, Steel, 
Stokes, Thompson, and Wilson. At Monterey Watson 
and Allen maintained a show of competition with Lar- 
kin in trade; Fitch was for the most part without rivals 
at San Diego ; Temple and Johnson were established 
at Los Angeles. Prominent citizens of Santa Bar- 
bara and vicinity, more or less engaged in commercial 
pursuits, were Branch, Burton, Dana, Elwell, Hill, and 
Sparks; at San Jose were Bowen, Forbes, and Gul- 
nac; and Bolcof at Santa Cruz. Yignes and Wolf- 
skill tilled their vineyards at Los Angeles, and Will- 
iams and Reid had ranchos in the same region. 
Gilroy and Livermore lived on their farms in what 
may be called the San Jose district; while located 
north of the bay were Alexander, Black, Mcintosh, 
Martin, Murphy, Read, and Yount. 

Of new-comers during 1836-40, that is, of such as 
are properly classed as pioneer residents, I shall have 
occasion to name in annual lists about 150, of whom 
140 remained in California after the end of the period, 
some 30 being men more or less prominent in these 
and later years." The total population of foreign 
adults, therefore, in 1840, not including roving trap- 
pers and horse- thieves in the interior, was in round 
numbers 380 souls, of which number 120 had come 
before 1830, and 240 before 1835. This was not in 
any sense a period of immigration. If few stayed in 
the country, still fewer came with the intention to 
stay; though Marsh, Wolfskill, and a few others came 
with such an intention from New Mexico, as did Sut- 
ter, Wiggins, Lassen, and a few others by way of 
Oregon. Most arrivals were in one way or another 
accidental. There was no direct immigration over- 

» Such are Nicholas AUgeier, F. D. Atherton, Ed T. Bnle, Frank Bedwell, 
Nic. A. Den, D. D. Button, Phil. L. Eilwanls, Tlios J. Faruham, EUab 
Grimes, W. D. M. Howard, Sebastian Kcyser, Peter Lassen, John Marsh, 
James Meadows, Ezekicl ilcrritt, Francis McUns, Henry Naile, Henry Paty, 
John Paty, Eobert Ridley, Alex. Rotchef, Pierre Saiusevain, Jared Sheldon, 
Peter Sherreback, John Sinclair, John A. Sutter, J. J. Vioget, and John R. 


land to California, and so far as can be known, not a 
single person crossed tlie sierra in the track of Smith 
and Walker of earlier times. In the last years of the 
period there was a degree of excitement on the sub- 
ject in Missouri and the states of that region, which 
will be noticed in connection with its results in 1841 
and later. Before 1840 it sent about a dozen people 
over the mountains to Oregon, thence to seek a way 
to California either by sea or land. 

Of about a hundred new names of foreigners that 
appear in the records of 1836 only thirty-one are those 
of men who may be classed as pioneers, and are named 
in the appended list.'" Atherton, Den, Marsh, and 
Rotchef were the men most widely known. An im- 
portant matter in the year's annals was the part taken 
by foreigners in the vigilance organization at Los 
Angeles. Still more interesting was that of the posi- 
tion taken by foreigners of different classes in support 
of Alvarado's revolution against the Mexicans, and of 
the foreign company of sailor rijleros that served in 
the Californian ranks; but these topics have been 
fully treated in preceding chapters, as the Peacock's 
visit and a resulting book will be in the one to follow. 

1 name twenty-five pioneers for 1837 out of seven- 
ty-five foreigners whose names appear for the first 
time in the records of this year." Bale, Edwards, 
Merritt, the Patys, and Vioget were the ones who in 
one way or another attained a degree of provincial 

i» Pioneers of 1836: Faxon D. Atherton, John Bancroft, James R. Berry, 
JeflVey Brown, F. M. Cooper, Henry Cooper, John Cooper, Daniel (?), Man- 
uel Dcmarante, Nic. A. Den, James Doyle, John H. Everett, Nic. Fiuk, M. 
Frazer, Wm Hance (?), Thoa Jewitt, Francis Johnson (born in Cal.), Sam 
Loring, John Marsh, Juan ^Moreno, Henry Naile, Thos A. Norton, Joseph 
Pope (?), John Price, Geo. Roberts, Geo. Rock, Alex, liotchef, Wm C. Stout, 
Wm R. Warren, Sant. P. Watson (born in Cal.), and J. F. R. Wescott. See 
these and other names in Pioneer P^egister at end ot vol. ii.-v., this work. 

" Pioneers of 1837: Wra Anderson, Ed T. Bale, Manuel Camon, Charle- 
foux, Octave Custot, Phil. L. Edwards, Fred. Hiigel(?), John Levick(?), Wm 
McGlone; Henry McVicker, James Meadows, Ezekiel Merritt, Morgan, Elijah 
Ness, James Orbell, Henry Paty (?), John Paty, John J. Read (born in Cal.), 
John Recd(?), Wm Reed, A. B. Smith (?), John Smith, Jean J. Vioget, Johix 
WUson, and Francis Young. 


fame. The foreign military company still continued 
in the Californian service, contributing, for patriotism 
and three dollars a day, to the maintenance of Alva- 
rado's power among the unwilling sureiios. Subse- 
quently it aided in retaking Monterey from the Mexi- 
cans. The coming of a party from the Columbia in 
quest of cattle for Oregon re-introduced Ewing Young, 
the old trapper, to the Californians, and originated a 
new branch of trade. It also left an unpublished nar- 
rative of the visit, including an overland trip to the 
north, as recorded in the preceding chapter. The 
Englishman Belcher, and Petit-Thouars the French- 
man, were the foreign visitors of 1837 whose obser- 
vations were published. 

Mj^ pioneer list of 1838 contains but twenty names 
out of a total of about forty visitors ;^^ and only John 
R. Wolfskin is entitled to especial mention as a promi- 
nent citizen still living in 1884. It was a most un- 
eventful year in all that concerned foreigners, the 
only noticeable item being the tragic fate of Captain 
Bancroft, the otter-hunter, at Santa Catalina. 

1839 brought to the coast fifty foreigners, of whom 
twenty-five are entitled to a place in my list of resi- 
dents," a list containing such names as those of How- 
ard, Melius, Sainsevain, Sinclair, and Sutter. The 
coming of the last-named pioneer, and his establish- 
ment of a colony on the Sacramento, form so impor- 
tant a topic in the annals of the country that a full 
narrative is deferred to the next chapter, in which 
I shall speak also of Laplace's visit, and of the pub- 
lication of Forbes' history. This year brought across 

12 Pioneers of 1838: Henry Austin, Joseph Bowles, JoelP. Dedmond, Olivier 
Deleisseques, John Finch, Win Goche, Eliab Grimes, Humphrey Hathaway, 
Wm Jones (?), John Lucas, James O'Brien, James Peace, Hardy Peirce (died), 
John Perry, John Saunders, Eli Southworth, Wm Williams, J. C. William- 
son (?), JohnR. Wolfskin, and S. W^olfskiU. 

"Pioneers of 1839: Wm Barton, Wm Burns, John Chamberlain, John 
Daniels (?), John C. Davis, Thoa Duncan, Henry Eaton, Geo. Hewitt, W. D. 
M. Howard, Henry Kirby, Joseph Leroy, Francis Melius, Paul Pryor(? born 
in Cal.), Rich. Real (? born in Cal.), Felipe Reid, Jos(5 D. Reid (?), Wm J. 
Reynolds, Geo. Robinson, Pierre Sainsevain, John Sinclair, C. G. Sullivan (?), 
John A. Sutter, Wm Swinburn, John Tiemey, and Francis J. Westgate. 


the continent to Oregon a dozen or more people who 
subsequently came to California; and it is said that 
Graham and Naile attempted to organize a company 
to cross the mountains eastward, for exactly what 
purpose is not apparent; neither is it important, as 
they did not succeed. 

New arrivals in 1840 numbered one hundred and 
fort}', or at least such was the number of new names 
appearing for the first time in records of this year, 
a few having doubtless come a little earlier. Of all 
these, forty-six have a place in the appended list,'^ and 
all are named in my Pioneer Register elsewhere. 
New-comers of 1840 best known in later times were 
Allgeier, Button, Parnham, Keyser, Lassen, Ridley, 
and Sherreback. The great topic of the year, else- 
where treated, was of course the Graham affair, in- 
volving the exile of forty-seven undesirable foreign 
residents, and supplemented by the visits of the 
French man-of-war Danalde, under Rosamel, and of 
the U. S. St Louis, under Forrest. Another matter 
of considerable interest was the arrival of the Iaiu- 
sanne at Bodega, with resulting complications. A 
controversy^ between the Californian authorities and 
the Russians was the most important phase of this 
affair, and will be noticed in its place. Its interest 
for the reader of this chapter arises from the fact 
that the vessel brought several immigrants. Some of 
the Lausanne's passengers w^ere men who had crossed 
the continent with John A. Sutter in 1838; others 
had come overland to Oregon by the same route in 
1839. There were perhaps ten or twelve in all, and 
all intended apparently to stop in California; but the 

"Pioneers of 1S40: Walter W. Adams, Nic. Allgeier, Aug. A. Andrew.s, 
John Armstrong (?), Frank Bcdwell, Dan. M. Burns, Anthony Campbell, 
Colin Campbell, Geo. H. Card, Geo. Chapel, Charles H. Cooper, Francis 
Day, Pierre Dubosc, Dav. D. Dutton, Thos J. Famhara, Wm T. Faxon, 
Gvilnac (3 sons born in Cal. about these years), Wm ilouptman, Francis 
Johnson, James J..hnsoii, Jr (?born in ('al.), Wm Johnson, Sebastian Keyser, 
Wm Langlois. T. :■ v T.;,- ^ n, Natb. S. Leighton, Wm Lewis, Peter Lyons, 
Geo. Patters., I :. 1 Hudson (?), Robert Ridley, Robert Robertson, 
Josiah Settle r ,i i I , M.n, Peter Sherreback. jVntonio Silva (?), Major 
Sterling (?), ivl ■ ; ',- i . I':!iil Sweet (?), Thos A. Warbas (?), John Warner, 
'Scotch Whally,' Thos \\ Uitc, Wm Wiggins, and Alvin Wilson. • 


only persons who did so, and whose names are known, 
were William Wiggins, Peter Lassen, and David D. 
Dutton. Their arrival at Bodega, in July, becom- 
ing known to General Vallejo, he objected to their 
remaining in the country, especially in view of the 
recent troubles with foreigners. Accordingly, some 
of the number who had a little money or credit pre- 
vailed on Captain Spalding to carry them to Hono- 
lulu; but Wiggins, Lassen, and two or three of Sut- 
ter's old company, having less means or less fear of 
Mexican officials, determined to remain. The Rus- 
sians, between whom and Vallejo's men a quarrel had 
arisen about the touching of the vessel at Bodega 
and other matters connected therewith, seem to have 
afforded some protection to the fugitives, entertaining 
them for a week or more at Ross, and perhaps fur- 
nishing horses for their journey to the interior. At 
any rate, they arrived at Sutter's place on the Sacra- 
mento about the middle of August, and were not 
thereafter molested.^^ 

'= I have many original communications of the time about the affair of the 
Lausanne, in Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 183, 191-8, 300-28; De-pt. St. Pap., Ben. 
Mil., 5IS., Iv. 14. But about the foreigners tliey reveal nothing beyond the 
fact that they lauded, that four of them came at one time to Sonoma, aud that 
Eotchef, takiuf! offense at Vallejo's action, afforded them some aid. See chap. 
vi., this vol., for detiils of the controversy. Most information e.xtant about 
the arrival of this party comes from the statement of Wm Wiggins, still living 
in ISSO. Wignins' Reminiscences, MS., 1-2; Id., Pac. Coast in ISoO. copied 
from the S. F. Examiner by the S. Jose Pioneer, April 6, 1S7S; and an ac- 
count — taken mainly from the newspaper article cited — in iSolano Counts/ 
Hist., 57-9; and Sonoma Co, Hist., 61-2. There is, I think, no truth in the 
statpment that the Russians told Alf. Piua and his men who came to prevent 
the foreigners from landing, ' to leave, be shot do\\'n, or go to prison ;' nor do 
I have much faith in the genuineness of the foUowing letter published in the 
county histories cited: 'Port Bodega, July 25, 1840. To the American 
Consul of California. Dear Sir: Wc, the imdersignod, citizens of the U. S., 
being desirous to land in the country, and having been refused a passport, 
and been opposed by the govt, we write to you, sir, for advice, and claim 
your protection. Being short of funds, we arc not able to proceed farther on 
the ship. We have concluded to land under the protection of the Russians; 
we will remain there 15 days, or until we receive an answer from you, which 
we hope will be as soon as the circumstances of the case will permit. Wo 
have been refused a passport from Gen. Vallejo. Our object is to get to the 
settlements, or to obtain a pass to return to our own country. Should we re- 
ceive no relief, we will take up our arms and travel, consider ourselves in an 
enemy's country, and defend ourselves with our guns. We subscribe our- 
selves, most respectfully, David Dutton, Jolin Stevens, Peter Lassen, \\'m 
Wiggins, J. Wright.' Dutton and Wright only are named as passengers by 
the newspaper that records the aiTival of the Lausanne at Honolulu. In re- 
lation to the arrival of these men in Oregon, sec Hist. Ur., i. 238, this series. 




John A. Suttee's Eaelt Life— Comes to California via Oregon, Hono- 
lulu, AND Sitka — Reception at Monteket — Purchases on Credit — 
Trip up the Sacramento — Nceva Helvecia Founded — Relations 
with Sonoma — Annals of 1839-40 — Indian Policy— Cattle, Beaver- 
skins, AND Brandy — Sutter's Plans — Phelps' Visit— Recruits — 
Sutter a Mexican Citizen — Biblioohaphy of Foreign Visits— The 
'Peacock' — Ruschenberger's Narrative — The 'Sulphur' — Bel- 
cher's Narrative — Survey of the Sacramento — Slacum's Visit— 
The 'Venus' — Petit-Thouars' Voyage- Forbes on California — The 
'Art^misb' — Laplace, Campagne — Phelps' Fore and An — Farn- 
ham's Life in California — J. F. B. M. 

A PROMINENT place must be given to Sutter's arri- 
val and settlement in California, as he was for years in 
several respects the leading foreigner in the country. 
He was likewise closely connected with many events 
of current history in 1841-8, and more honored with 
words of eulogy than any other Californian pioneer 
down to the day of his death in 1880. Moreover, his 
settlement on the Sacramento was not only the first 
in a broad and important territory, utilized by trappers 
only down to 1839; but was destined to be a leading 
factor in the political changes of 1846, and a direct 
medium of an event which transformed California and 
startled the world — the discovery of gold at Sutter's 
mill in 1848. 

John Augustus Sutter — or Johann August Suter, 
as the name was originally written — was of German 
origin, having been born in Februaiy, 1803, perhaps 


of Swiss parents, at Kandern, a little town of Baden. 
At the age of sixteen j^ears he removed to Switzer- 
land, attended scliool for a time at Neufchatel, and 
attained his citizensliip at the little village of Rlinen- 
berg, Basle. He subsequently went to Burgdorf, 
canton of Bern, where he embarked in business, and 
where in 1826 he married Annette Dubeld, by whom 
in the next six years he had thi^ee sons and one daugh- 
ter. Meanwhile he was a soldier in the Swiss army, 
like every young and able-bodied man in that republic, 
and was for a time an officer in tlie force of citizen- 
soldiery, held ever ready for active service. The 
story so widely circulated in books and newspapers 
that Sutter sei'ved in the French arm}', as captain of 
Swiss guards, "mingling with the elite of French 
society in the court of Charles X.," is pure fiction. 
Of his commercial ventures at Burgdorf we have no 
details, save his own statement that he was engaged, 
perhaps at an earlier date, in bookbinding and the 
sale of newspapers. The young merchant must have 
had some money or credit; but neither his capital nor 
his experience was at all commensurate with his en- 
thusiasm and ambition, and the result was bankruptcy. 
Discouragement, however, found no place in his na- 
ture, and he determined to retrieve bis fortunes in the 
New World. Leaving his family in straitened cir- 
cumstances, and to his creditors the task of settling 
his affairs, Sutter sailed for America in the early 
summer of 1834.^ 

' The best authority extant on Sutter's early life is Schlagintweit, Cali/or- 
nien Land und Leute, 219-21. The author, Robert von Schlagintweit, is a 
well known German traveller and writer, who on this subject not only read 
what has been written about Sutter in Cal., but also had access toother 
sources of inf or "nation. He cites the statements of persons at Liestal who 
knew the family, especially Herr Martin Birmann-Socin ; also an article in 
the Basellandschaftlichen Zeitung, Aug. 28, 1868. He gives the date of Sut- 
ter's birth as Feb. 15, 1803. His children were John A., Jr., born in 1S27; 
Anna Eliza, in 1828; Emil Victor, in 1830; and Wra Alphonse, in 1S32. He 
states that the business affairs were so complicated that they were not fully 
settled until 1862. In his Personal Reminiscences, MS., carefully dictated to 
me by Sutter at his residence in Penn. a few years before his death, he cor- 
rects the story of his service in the French army, but goes only slightly into 
details of his early life. He saya, however, that he was a cadet at Bern. I 


Landing at New York in July 1834, our3-oung ad- 
venturer went immediately westward, with two Ger- 
naans and two Frenchmen, all agreeing to learn no 
English so long as they kept together; but they parted 
in Indiana, and Sutter went on to St Louis, where 
and at St Chailes he spent the winter. Looking about 
liim for a chance to advance his fortunes, he fell in with 
tlie Santa Fe traders, with whom he went in the spring 
of 1835 to New Mexico. He claims to have had at 
this time some means, but his capital doubtless con- 
sisted mainly in his pleasing address, his sanguine 
temperament, and his personal energy. Already mas- 
ter of the German and French languages, he shortly 
acquired in his new surroundings enough of English 
and Spanish for his business purposes.* Respecting 
his commercial ventures in Missouri and New Mexico 
during the years 1835-7, ventures consisting largely 
in trade with the Indians, there is but little information 
extant. That little is not favorable to Sutter's repu- 
tation; but there are reasons for not even repeating 
here the definite charges against him, and for believing 
that those charges were to a certain extent unfounded. 
Then, as before and later, Sutter was an enthusiast, 
and he had the faculty of imparting his enthusiasm 
to others. His schemes were always far beyond his 
means and abilities. He rarely hesitated to incur any 
obligation for the future, and he was rarely able, in 
financial matters, to keep his promises. He induced 
certain Germans and others to invest their money in 
his projects, which after their failure were denounced 

need not specify here the numerous biographical sketches that have appeavej 
in books and newspapers. One of those most widely circulated iu various 
forms is that in Dunbar's Romance of the Arje, 11-21. The most accurate of 
all iu many respects is that given in Sliuck's Representative Men, 11-21. This 
sketch presents Sutter as the son of a Lutheran clergyman, which is not im- 
probable; and I think there may b» some doubt about his having been a 
Swiss. It has often been said that Sutter's plan on leaving Europe was to 
establish a Swiss colony in America; but this under the circumstances is un- 
likely. His plan was to make a fortune as best he could. He says, ' My 
object in coming to America was to be a farmer.' 

^ He never wrote Frencli correctly, though much better than either Spanisli 
or English. He had but slight occasion in his California correspondence for 
the German, which was his native language. 


as swindles by the victims. It is fair to suppose, in 
the absence of proof to the contrary, that their accusa- 
tions of swincUing were exaggerated, and other more 
serious charges invented, by reason of their disappoint- 
ment. At any rate, Sutter saved a little money, and 
determined to seek his fortune still farther west.^ 

In New IMexico Sutter met several men who had 
been in California, from whom — and especially from a 
Canadian alcalde at Taos named Popian — he heard 
much in praise of that country's climate, lands, and 
cattle. Therefore he resolved to visit California, and 
formed a party of seven men, consisting of three Ger- 
mans, two Americans, a Belgian, and a Mexican ser- 
vant. By the advice of Sir William Drummond 
Stewart, as he says, and perhaps for other reasons as 
well,* he decided not to go by the Santa Fe trail, but 
to take a northern route. They started from St Louis 
in April 1838, and travelled by the rendezvous in Wind 
Eiver Valley, Fort Hall, Fort Boisc^, Walla Walla, 
Dalles, and Willamette Valley mission, ariiving at 
Fort Vancouver in October, six months after leaving 
St Louis. The journey need not be more fully de- 
scribed here; in fact, little is known about it. From 
missionaries and trappers in Oregon, and especially 

' Sutter, Personal Bemin., MS., 2-3, says practically nothing of his expe- 
rience during these years, save that he bought a piece of land in JMo. and \'is- 
ited Sta F6; and the same silence Is to be noted in the current sketches. 
Some writers state that ho obtained papers of naturalization while in Mo., and 
Sutter himself, Pelition to Coiirjrcxs, says he applied for such papers. Schla.s- 
intweit simply states that he went to Sta Fe, and drove a flourishing trade 
with the Indians. In the MS., Graham and Salter in N. Mexico, somefactsbi/ 
a Pioneer of 1S41, MS., p. 3-7, are recorded a few details. Schnibldcr, in his 
Neuer Prak. Wegwe.iser, 74-6, written in 1S4S, states that Sutter induced the 
emigran t company from Giesen, Germany, settled in Warren Co., Mo., to form 
a trading caravan to New Mexico in 1S35. About 50 joined the company; 
but on account of inexperience, lateness of the season, etc., the enterprise was 
a failure. After the dissolution and the retcru of most members, Sutter es- 
tablished himself in business at Sta Fd; but his former partners' raids on his 
capital prevented success. He did not like New Mexican life, and he resolved 
in IS3S to seek the west coast. 

*In liis Petition to Coiirjress, Sutter says: ' The difficulties of crossing the 
mountains from New Mexico were represented as impracticable, ami he deter 
mined, on his second return to Missouri, to reach the Pacific "by a northern 
route.'" This of course is absurd, since the southern route at the time pre- 
sented no great difficulties, and at Sta F6 was the one best knowni. 


from Douglas and other officers of tlie Hudson's Bay- 
Company, Sutter added much to his stock of informa- 
tion about California, and must have had his attention 
directed especially to the Sacramento Valley, the re- 
gion with which most of his informants were best ac- 
quainted. ° He also had an opportunity for the exei'- 
cise of his peculiar talent for inspiring confidence, and 
succeeded in obtaining credit to a considerable amount 
from the company^, the debt remaining unpaid for 
many years. 

There being no vessel soon to sail for California, 
the journey overland requiring a delay over winter 
before starting, and Sutter being not averse to a voy- 
age by sea, he took passage on the Columbia, which 
left the mouth of the Columbia River November 
11th, and ai'rived at Honolulu December 9th.^ It 
was five months before the sailing of any vessel that 
would take him to his destination; but the delay gave 
him an opportunity to become acquainted with sev- 
eral men who could aid him by their influence in Cal- 
ifornia. So good an impression did he make on the 
merchants, that William French agreed to send him 
as supercargo of a vessel to the American coast, an 
arrangement that would not only secure him a pas- 
sage, but would leave him a margin of profit. More- 

° Slitter's Perianal Remin. , MS. , 3-9, with some details of experience on the 
■way and in Oregon. Sutter's Diary, published in the S. F. Argonaut, Jan. 26, 
1878, gives the facts more briefly. This document, though interesting, is 
e\'idently not a diary kept at the time, but a series of memoranda made at a 
later period— at least, such is the case in respect of the earlier portions. In 
Gray's Hist. Oregon, 177, it is stated that Sutter came with the author and a 
party of missionaries to Walla Walla, but Sutter says nothing of it, though 
he probably met Gray, as ho later wrote a letter about him while at Honolulu. 
From tho iDallcs to the Willamette, Sutter travelled part of the way with 
Lee, the raissionaiy, and his party. The journey is described in Lee and 
Frost's Ten Years in Or., 105-60, but without mention of Sutter. Schlagint- 
weit says he left Ft Independence with Capt. Ermatinger, 5 missionaries, and 
3 women, in June, arriving at Ft Vancouver in September. Schmolder, 
Neuer Wctjweiser, 74-6, repeats this, and gives July 29th as the date of his 
arrival at Ft Hall. From St Louis to the Rocky Mt. rendezvous, he travelled 
with Capt. Tripp of the Amer. Fur Co. Sutler's Petition. 

* Arrival noted in Honolulu S. I. Gazette, Dec. 15, 1838. In the same 
paper of April 6, 1839, is a letter from Sutter denying the truth of a report 
that a Frenchman had commanded a party of Indians that had attacked the 
missionary Gray on his way overland. 


over, Sutter was enabled through the influence of his 
new friends to engage two or three men in addition 
to the one German he had brought with him, the 
others having been left in Oregon, and eight or ten 
kanakas for his Californian rancho. He finally sailed 
on the English brig Clementine, Captain Blinn, on 
April 20, 1839, for SitkaJ The voyage was without 
notable incident, and at Sitka, where most of the 
cargo was landed, Sutter remained several weeks, 
making new friends among the officers of the Russian 
American Company, and having the honor to dance 
with the governor's wife, a born princess. The voy- 
age of the Clementine down the coast was rather 
rough; but on the 1st of July she entered San 
Francisco Bay; and our adventurer, by a somewhat 
circuitous route from Switzerland, was at last in Cali- 
fornia. He was, however, allowed to remain only 
forty-eight hours for repairs, in accordance with the 
revenue regulations; and was obliged to forego even 
the festivities of July 4th to present himself and his 
vessel at the capital.'* 

Arriving at Monterey on July 3d, Sutter lost no 
time in making known his project, declining an invi- 

' Honolulu S. I. Gazette, April 27, 18.S3, iii wliich Capt. Sutter, A. Thomp- 
son, two German cabinet-makers, and 9 kanak:is are mentioned as passen- 
gers. In his Personal Remin., MS., 11, 19-20, 27, Sutter says he brought 4 
white men, and 8 kanakas, two of them with their wives, whom the king 
gave him for 3 years at |10 per month. He had also taken from Oregon an 
Indian boy whom he bought of Kit Carson for $100. He claims to have been 
the owner of the vessel, which I think cannot have been the fact. Both ver- 
sions have been given in the current sketches. In his petition he says he 
' shipped as supercargo without pay on an English vessel chartered by some 
American citizens of these isles.' 

^ Sutter's Pers. Rem., MS., 12-14; Sutter's Diary. The date of arrival at 
S. F. is generally given as July 2d; but there is proof that the vessel arrived 
at Monterey on the 3d. Vallejo, Doc, MS., vii. 290; Pinto, Doc, MS., i. 
233. She paid duties on about §3,400. Bartlett, Narrative, ii. GS-70, rep- 
resents the voyage to have been via S. Bias or Mazatlan. Several ^Titers 
state that Sutter went to the Hawaiian Islands to engage in raising oranges; 
others have it that, starting from Honolulu for Sitka, lie was driven luckily 
by the gales to S. F. ; nobody suggests that he went to Alaska to ijivestigate 
the prospects for manufacturing' ice! ' II fit quelques operations commerciales 
h, la Nouvelle Archangel,' says Mo/ras, Explor., i. 457-8. In a letter of Nov. 
20, 1877, to the S. Jos6 Pioneer, Deo. 14, 1877, Sutter objects to a statement 
by some orator that ' prior to 1841 a few restless and adventurous spii-its had 
come to California, scarcely knowing how or why; ' and claims that at least 
himself and Marsh had come with the deliberate intention to settle. 


tation to join in the festivities of the 4th, and regret- 
ting that the celebration would postpone his interview 
with the governor, the guest of American residents 
on that occasion, until the 5th. He had made good 
use of the friendships he had formed on his travels, 
and came provided with the most flattering letters of 
introduction to governor, general, and prominent citi- 
zens, from Douglas and other officers of the Hudson's 
Bay Company at "Vancouver, from Russian officials 
of the Russian American Company at Sitka, and from 
leading merchants of Honolulu." He had doubtless 
represented himself, and still did so, as having been 
an officer of the French army; and was known from 
the first as 'Captain' Sutter — a harmless enough de- 
ception from certain points of view.^" Introduced by 
David Spence to Alvarado, he was cordially received. 
His pleasing manners, his apparent energy, his unex- 
ceptionable recommendations, and the reasonable and 
beneficial nature of his project made the way perfectly 
clear. He wished at first to obtain a tract of land as 
an empresario de colonizacion; but Alvarado showed 
him the impracticability of this method for so small 
a colony. He advised Sutter to announce his inten- 
tion of becoming a Mexican citizen, to go into the 
interior and select any tract of unoccupied land that 
might suit him, and to return to Monterey in a year, 
Avhcn he would be given his papers of naturalization 
and a grant of his land. Gladly adopting this plan, 
Sutter obtained additional letters of recommendation 
to Vallejo, and hastened back to Yerba Buena, where 
he arrived July 7th on the Clementine, which craft 
was despatched for Honolulu about a week later." 

'One of these letters, dated April 18, 1839, from John C. Jones, U. S. 
consul in Oahu, to Gen. Vallejo, is preserved in Vallejo, Doc, MS., vi. 440. 
Sutter is introduced as a 'Swiss gentleman of the first class among men of 
honor, talent, and estimation,' worthy of nil confidence and support. 

"Inthe Honolulu S. I. Gnzctte, April 6, -1839, Sutter distinctly claims to 
have been an officer in the French service; he is called captain in Consul 
Jones' letter; and Larliin in 1846, /.arkin's Off. Coiresp., MS., ii. 108-9, 
states that he liail Ijccn a cnptain in the Swiss guard of Charles X. 

^^ Alvarado, Hist, i 'al.. M.S., iv. 206, etc.; Sutler, Pers. Item., MS., 15-16; 
Id., Diary; Id., I'lIUmi. July 3d, Spence to Vallejo, introducing Sutter and 


From San Francisco late in July, he made a visit to 
Vallejo at Sonoma, and thence by land, by Mcintosh's 
rancho and Bodega, to Rotchef at lioss. He was 
kindly received by both gentlemen, who politely 
wished him success in his enterprise. He says that 
Vallejo and others wished him to settle in Sonoma, 
Napa, or Suisun valleys, rather than go so far from 
civilization; but he declined, ostensibly because he 
wished to settle on a navigable river, but really be- 
cause he wished to be at a convenient distance from 
Spanish officials and Spanish neighbors." He had 
already decided in favor of the Sacramento Valley in 
consequence of information received in Oregon and at 
Sitka; and doubtless one of his strongest motives for 
this preference was a desire to be independent of the 
Californians. He was willing to become a Mexican 
citizen and to obey Mexican laws only so far as his 
own interests might require it. He wished to be be- 
yond the reach of all interference with his Indian 
policy, his methods of obtaining laborers, his trading 
ventures, his trapping operations, and his relations 
with foreigners. He believed there was money to be 
made out of the Indians; he hoped to make his estab- 
lishment a trading-post and rendezvous for trappers; 
he shrewdly foresaw that even the roving vagabonds 
and horse-thieves of the valleys might be useful allies 
in possible emergencies. 

]3ack at Yerba Buena, Sutter pushed forward his 
preparations, making arrangements with rancheros 
round the bay to supply him in the near future with 
cattle — always on credit. He had brought on the 

announcing his plan to settle on the northern frontier. Vallejo, Doc, MS., 
vii. 290. July 4th, Alvarado to Vallejo, highly recommending Sutter. /(/., 
vii. .S02. This would indicate that both Sutter and Alvarado are wrong in 
speaking of the first interview as having been postponed until July 5th. Ar- 
rival at S. F. July 7th. Depl. St. Pap., Ben. Mil., MS., Iv. 16. The vessel 
still retained a part of her cargo, which had proved unsalable; and a guard 
was put on board to see that no part of these goods should be landed bcfoie 
she sailed, about July 13th, for Oahu. Pinto, Doc. , MS., i. 233-4. 

" Sutler's Pers. Hem., MS. , 21-7. Hall J. Kelley, liUt., 09, claims that it 
was his report and earlier project that carried S. to Cal. and determined his- 
choice of a site. 

Hist. Cai.., Vol. IV. 9 


Clementine, or had purchased here, a four-oared pin- 
nace; and he chartered from Spear and Hinckley 
their schooners, the Isabella and Nicolas, commanded 
by WiUiam H. Davis and Jack Rainsford, for his trip 
up the river." On these craft Sutter embarked with 
his eight or ten kanakas, his three or four white men 
who had come with him, and two or three others en- 
gaged at San Francisco, besides the crews. The ves- 
sels were also loaded with stores of provisions, ammu- 
nition, implements, and three small cannon which had 
been brought from Honolulu." When all was ready, 
a farewell dinner was given to our adventurer on board 
a Boston ship, doubtless the Monsoon, from alongside 
of which vessel the little expedition set out on or 
about August 9th, Sutter going in advance, as he states, 
in the smallest boat, manned by his kanakas, and 
touching only at Martinez' rancho en route to Suisun 

Sutter has always said, and the statement has been 
constantly repeated, that it took him eight days from 
Suisun Bay to find the mouth of the Sacramento, no 
one at San Francisco knowing anything of that region 
beyond the fact that there were large rivers there. 
This is of course an absurd claim, even had no one at 
Yerba Buena known of the explorations hj Kotzebue 
and Belcher. True, this part}^ might have spent eight 
days, or eight weeks, in exploring the San Joaquin 
and the sloughs of that region ; but I suppose that, as 
Davis saj's, they were eight days in making the trip 
from San Francisco to the site of the modern Sacra- 

"In Ms Pers. Rem., MS., Sutter claims to have bought a schooner from 
Spear & Co., a yaclit from Hinckley, and a pinnace from Capt. Wilson; 
and the statement that he owned the fleet has been oft repeated; but in his 
Diary he speaks of having chartered the /sn6c?/a and purchased several small 
boats; in his Petition, that he ' chartered a schooner with some small boats;' 
and Davis, Glimpses, MS., p. 11, gives the version in my text. Davis was in 
charge of the fleet, representing Spear & Co. , the owners. 

"Letter of Sutter, July 12, 1879, to Cal. Pioneers, in S. F. BuHelin. He 
says he got G larger cannop in 1S41 from the captain of an American vessel, 
who brought them fi'om South America expressly for him; one brass field-piece 
only from the Russians; and a few others, including 2 brass pieces, from other 
Tcssels at different dates. 


mento.^^ Tliey moved slowly, closel}^ examining the 
banks and anchoring at night. The Indians, not ap- 
pearing until the last day of the voyage, were friendly 
Avhen promised gifts, and furnished guides, who, being 
ex-neophytes, could speak Spanish. The schooners 
anchored at or below the mouth of the branch now 
called Feather River, up which Sutter in his pinnace 
went some fifteen miles, taking it for the main stream, 
and then rejoined the others. Next morning, or that 
same afternoon according to Davis, the fleet dropped 
down the Sacramento and entered the American Riv- 
er,^^ on the southern bank of which stream the cargoes 
were unloaded, the tents pitched, and the cannon 
mounted. The schooners started in the morning on 
their return, carrying back sevei^al of the men who had 
intended to remain, and were saluted at parting with 
nine guns, which made a sensation among Indians, 
animals, and birds.^'' 

Sutter was now left to carve his fortunes in the 
wilderness, his companions being three white men 
whose names are not known, ten kanakas including 
two women, an Indian boy from Oregon, and a large 
bull-dog fi'om Oahu. A site for permanent settlement 
was at once selected about a quarter of a mile from 
the landing on high ground, where two or three grass 

'^The date of starting is given by Davis as Aug. 9th; and that of arrival 
by Shuck as Aug. loth; by Cunbar as Aug. 10th; and Sutter, Diary, Aug. 
l"2th, Petitiov, Aug. 15th. Little reliance is to be placed on the accuracy of 
these dates; but I accept Aug. 9th to Aug. IGth as approximately correct. 

"5 The Rio de los Americanos is named by Alvarado in Oct. 1837 as a place 
frequented by trappers of revolutionary proclivities. Vallejo, Doc, MS., iv. 

"Sutter's Peru. Pern., MS., 2S-36; Id., Diary; Davis's Glimpses, MS., 11- 
14. Sutter says the landing-place -(vas several miles up tlie American, and 
again that it was about a quarter of a mile from the later site of the fort. 
He states that he wislied to explore the Sacramento above, but was prevented 
by discontent and danger of mutiny among his men. A writer in Hutchiinjs' 
Mar]., iv. 4, speaks of the f.<abella as the first sailing-vessel that made tlie 
voyage up the river— a voyage interrupted by hostile Indians! Sutter's Peti- 
tion to Congress (39th cong. 1st sess., Sen. Miscel. Doc, 38), is a narrative 
from which many current sketches have been drawn; for which as for various 
other statements made by him the Diary was a series of memoranda; and 
■which in some respects is more accurate than his Personal Remhusccnees, MS., 
though in it he claimed to be a native of Switzerland and to have received a 
military education. He says the landing-place waa where he later built his 
tannery, on the south bank of the American River, 


and tule houses were built by the kanakas, more or 
less in the Hawaiian style, on wooden frames put up 
by the white men. Such were the primitive struc- 
tures of California's later capital, and they were ready 
f jr their occupants early in September. But before 
the winter rains began, Sutter tells us that he had 
completed an adobe building roofed with tules. It 
was about forty feet long, and divided into three 
apartments, in one of which the captain lived, while 
the others served as kitchen and blacksmith-shop. 
^Meanwhile the Indians had not failed to come for the 
jn'omised gifts of beads and other trifles, and were 
duly impressed by the occasional discharge of the can- 
non at a target. They soon began to bring in stolen 
horses for sale; and they were easily induced to make 
themselves useful in the manufacture of adobes or 
in other work. They were disposed to pilfer to some 
extent, and perhaps formed plans to kill the strangers 
and obtain their property; but if this were so, their 
plots were frustrated through strict vigilance, an over- 
luling providence, three cannon, and the teeth of the 
bull-dog. ^^ Before the end of 1839 the vessel, spoken 
of as boat, pinnace, launch, schooner, and even sloop 
ill these years, though a new and larger boat may 
have been obtained after the first trip, made one or 
two voyages to San Francisco and back with Sutter 
on board, bringing several new recruits for the col- 
ony; a drove of cattle and horses, purchased of Mar- 
tinez on credit, arrived in October.^'' Meanwhile the 
work of improvement went on; meat was plentifully 
obtained by the hunters; preparations were made for 
trapping operations the nest season; gardens were 

^^Sutter's Petition to Congress, p. 3. In his Pers. Rem., MS., 39-10, Sut- 
ter relates that on one occasion the dog cauglit the leader of a party that 
came to kill him in the night; but this seems to have been later. I tliiuk 
there were no serious troubles in 1839. 

"According to Sutler's PHition, p. 3, the cattle numbered 300, horses .30, 
and marcs 30; and 8 white men joined the colony. In the Diary, 2, it is stated 
that the cattle arrived Oct. 22d, requiring 8 men — probably the new recruits 
— to drive them. He seems to speak of two trips to S. F., one taking IG days 
and the other a month. 


planted with various seeds ; and a road was cut tlarough 
the woods to the embarcadero on the Sacramento. 

At the first I suppose, though there is no formal 
record and the name is not used until the next year, 
the new establishment was christened, in honor of 
Sutter's adopted country, Nueva Helvecia, or New 

On December 26, 1839, General Vallejo wrote to 
the comandante at San Josd : " We must not lose sight 
of a settlement of foreigners in the direction of the 
Sacramento, said to have been made with permission 
of the departmental government, though contrary to 
law and to the latest orders from Mexico. That es- 
tablishment is very suspicious, and respira si'ntomas 
venenosos."" Vallejo had always urged the importance 
of making settlements on the northern frontier; but 
he fully understood the danger to be apprehended from 
such a colony as that of Sutter, if independent of Mex- 
ican control, which could not fail to become a rendez- 
vous of the department's worst foes. Moreover, the 
idea of a power in the north which might rival his own 
was not a pleasing one, especially when that power 
was founded and likely to be constantly favored by his 
enemies at Monterey. There can be no doubt that 
the favor shown to Sutter at Monterey from the first 
by Alvaradoand others, especially by Jimeno Casarin, 
the governor's secretary and adviser, was all the more 
cordial from the expectation that there might be a ri- 
valry between the magnates of Sonoma and the Sac- 
ramento. At any rate, the concession made to Sutter 
without consulting the general was an insult to Vallejo, 
and it is not strange that he did not feel kindly toward 
the new-comers. Yet there was no open quarrel, nor 

2° Which form of the name should properly be used here is a puzzle. Sut- 
ter probaUy called it Nouvelle Helv6tie— since he always affected the French, 
and not the German— rather than Neu-Helvetien; but he was a Mexican offi- 
cial, and wrote the name officially in its Spanish form, Nueva Helvecia, as did 
the Calif omians; while later, with the predominance of American settlei-s, it 
became New Helvetia. Probably it never occurred to anybody to write it all 
in Latin — Nova Helvetia. 

-' Vallejo, Doc, MS., viU. 395. 


special manifestation of ill-feeling on either side, in 
these earlier years, so far as the records show.-''^ 

The annals of Nueva Helvecia in 1840 are neither 
extensive nor complicated. In the spring a party was 
sent out to search for pine timber, which was rafted 
down the American River from a distance of about 
twenty -five miles. Adobes were also prepared, and in 
the autumn a beginning was probably made on the 
fort, which will be described later, and the construc- 
tion of which occupied about four years. Of agricul- 
tural operations at this time we have no record, though 
they were doubtless conducted on a limited scale, as 
other industries promised larger and more speedy re- 
turns. Sutter's growing herds were increased by the 
purchase of a large number of cattle from Antonio 
Suiiol, besides horses from Joaquin Gomez and others. 
Some animals were obtained also from Dr Marsh and 
Robert Livermore. The launch, now in charge of 
Robert Ridley, made frequent trips to Yerba Buena 
and to the bay ranchos, always with requests for grain, 
poultry, implements, or supplies of some kind to be 
jiaid for later in beaver-skins. Sutter's creditors, of 
whom Martinez and Suhol were chief, as yet showed 
no marked signs of impatience, and prospects there- 
fore seemed tlattering.-^ 

In the industry of beaver-trapping, from which 
Sutter expected the greatest results in the future — 
and with reason, since for several years it was with 

-^ Alvarado, howerer, informed the Mex. govt in 1S42 that Sutter could 
get uo aid from Vallejo, though he made repeated requests for such aid. Dcpt. 
liec. MS., xiii. 9-10. 

'' In Sutter's Diary, 2-3, the number of cattle bought of SuQol is said to 
have been 1,000. March ISth is given as the date of first sending out men for 
timber. In his Pers. Hem. , MS. , 48, Sutter speaks vaguely of beginning work 
on the fort, implying that the adobe building was burned in the winter of 
1839^0, or probably 1840-1, since it was seen by a visitor in Jidy 1840. Tho 
SuUer-Suhol Correspondence, IS4O-6, MS. , is a collection of copies and extracts 
from original letters in the possession of the SiiSol family, which originals 
were furnished for my use by Mr P. Etchebanie of S. Jostf. The collection 
contains three of Sutter's letters of 1840, in one of which he credits SuSol 
with §295 for cattle sent through Sinclair. Vallejo, Hist. Cal. , MS. , iv. 224, 
states that as early as April 1840, Martinez wrote to him complaining of Sut- 
ter's failure to keep his promises. 


beaver-skins, supplemented only with deer- fat and 
brandy, that he paid such of his debts as were paid 
at all — not much was accomplished this season for 
want of experienced hunters, suitable traps, and arti- 
cles of traffic adapted to the needs of the free trap- 
pers; yet an encouraging beginning was made. It 
was from the services of his own hunters and those of 
others who trapped for themselves without license 
that the captain expected his profits, and not from the 
trappers of the Hudson's Bay Company, who could 
not sell their furs. He accordingly, by virtue of his 
authority as a Mexican official, of which I shall speak 
presently, notified that company in the summer of 
1840 that Laframboise and his band of hunters must 
suspend their annual visits to the Tulares.-* Another 
industry introduced this year, and from which Sutter 
had great hopes of future profits, was the manufac- 
ture of brandy from the wild grapes which grew in 
great abundance in the region of New Helvetia, and 
in the gathering of which the services of the Indians 
could be utilized.^^ 

At the end of July Sutter's establishment was vis- 
ited by Captain W. D. Phelps of the Boston ship 
Alert, anchored at Yerba Buena, who went up the 
river in his cutter, with six men, impelled not only by 
curiosity, but by the mistaken idea that this was "the 
first passage of a ship's boat on that river," and by the 
other belief, well founded I think, that this was "the 
first time the stars and stripes waved over its waters." 
Phelps found a party of Sutter's Indian fishermen at 
work at the embarcadero, whence he went on horse- 
back to New Helvetia, being welcomed with a salute 
from the cannon and a gay display of flags. He was 
hospitably entertained, enjoyed an elk-hunt with his 

"So said Gov. Douglas, Journal, MS., 71-2, to Alvaraclo in .Jan. 1841. 
No attention hail been p^id to Sutter's prohibition. Alvaraclo admitted that 
ho had authorized Sutter to request, not order, Laframboise to withdraw liis 
operations farther from the settlements. 

25 Letter of Oct. 7, 1S40, in Sutler-Simol Correip., MS., 1, in wliich he 
Bays ho will know in a few weeks the result of his attempts. 


host, visited Sinclair's farm, spent a week in explora- 
tions farther up the river, and then returned in tliree 
days to his ship. In his book he gives no descrip- 
tion of the estabhshment as he found it.^^ Soon after 
this visitoi-'s departure, there arrived others ou Au- 
gust l7th from Bodega. They were Peter Lassen, 
Wilham Wiggins, and several others whose names and 
number are not known, but who had crossed the con- 
tinent with Sutter. They came down from Oregon 
on the Lausanne, and were aided by the Russians to 
cross the country— stealthily from fear of interference 
by Californians — to New Helvetia, where all but the 
two named above remained to strengthen Sutter's 

Later in August Sutter went down to Monterej' 
and obtained his papers of naturalization as a Mexican 
citizen, for which he had made the preliminary appli- 
cation in July 1839. These final steps were begun on 
August 27th before David Spence as justice of the 
peace, and completed the 29th, the applicant proving 
by documents and by three witnesses, Estrada, Wat- 
son, and Spence, that he was a Swiss catholic, and of 
good character. ^^ Captain Sutter was duly author- 

^^ Phelps' Fore and Aft, 254-9. Geo. H. Card seems to have been one of 
the men wbo accompanied Phelps. 

-' In his Diary, Sutter says that 'the men vho crossed with me the Rocky 
^Mountains,' implying that the number included all 5 of them, anived Aug. 
17th. There were not however so many, since on Oct. 19, 1841, Sutter 
writes that he is expecting overland from the Columbia 'several men who 
crossed the continent with nio and wish to enter my service.' Sutter-Siinol 
Covreaxi., MS., 11. Wiggins, Heminls., MS., 1-3, says there were 'some half- 
dozen of us' who took passage on the Lausanne, and implies that all accom- 
panied himself and Lassen from Ross to Sutter's place, a journey of 12 days. 
Two men, however, are known to have gone to Honolulu on the vessel; and as 
in the controversy between Vallcjo and the Russians only 4 foreigners are 
mentioned as going inland, I suppose that not more than 2 or 3 of Sutter's 
old companions arrived at this time. In a contribution to the newspapers, 
however, Wiggins says there were G — 4 besides himself and Lassen — who went 
inland. <S'. Joii6 Pioneer, April C, 1878. Wiggins found Sutter living, as at 
the end of 1839, in the adobe house of three rooms, the fort being not yet be- 

-^Dept. St. Pap., MS., v. 115-16. Sutter in his various statements has 
said notiiing of this visit to Monterey, implying that his naturalization, etc., 
was effected at the time his laud gi-ant was made in 1841. It was on this tri]i, 
doubtless, that he carried Lassen and Wiggins down to the bay, as mentioned 
by the latter. 


ized by Jimeno Casarin, on September 1st, to repre- 
sent the departmental government at Nueva Helvecia, 
being endowed with all the civil authority necessary 
for the local administration of justice, the prevention 
of robberies by "adventurers from the United States," 
the repression of hostilities by savage Indians, and the 
checking of the illegal trapping and fishing carried on 
by the 'Company of the Columbia,' for which purposes 
he might even resort to force of arms if necessary. 
In fact, he was constituted, as he soon had occasion to 
sign himself ofBcially, Encargado de justicia y repre- 
sentante del gobierno en las fronteras del Rio del 

The Indians gave some trouble this year, and Sutter 
was obliged on several occasions, respecting which 
chronological and other details are not satisfactory, to 
use force against them, once as he claims attacking a 
large body of them on the river of the Cosumnes, and 
killing thirty of their number.^'' His Indian policy 
was undoubtedly a wise and successful one, its chief 
features being constant vigilance, prompt punishment 
of offences, and uniform kindness and justice, espe- 
cially to those tribes near home. He had unusual tact 
for making friends of all men, irrespective of race, and 
he not only kept the Sacramento Indians, as a rule, on 
friendly terms, but succeeded by his liberality and tact 
in obtaining from them a large amount of useful ser- 
vice. He strengthened his position by aiding his 
Indians against their foes. In September, soon after 
his return from Monterey, he had an opportunity to 
advance his own interests in this way. Acacio and 
fifteen other Indians came with a pass from Mission 

'^ Dept. Bee, MS., xi. 20; xvii. 86; VaUejo, Doc, MS., xsxiii. 129. 

'"Suiter's Diary, 2-3; Id., Petition, 3; Id., Pers. Hem., IMS., 40-1. Four 
or five distinct cases of plots or hostilities seem to be alluded to this yera-, 
VaUejo, UUt. Cal., MS., iv. 224-5, claims to have discovered in April v. plau 
to attack New Helvetia, and to have prevented it by arresting the cliief, 
Alarico, and keeping his two sons as liostages. This author, Id., 37-46, rep- 
resents Sutter's establishment as having been in territory of the Ochocames, 
whose chief, Narciso, had formerly been a neophyte, and who favored the 
strangers. Sutter also names Narciso and the Ochocumnes. 


San Josd to visit relatives among the Ochecames or 
Ochocumnes. They were permitted by Sutter to 
purchase coritas aiid plumeros, and also to obtain 
women peaceably with the consent of all concerned. 
They however attacked a rancheria of the Yalesumnes, 
many of whom, under Pulpule, were working at New 
Helvetia, and killing seven of the men, stole all the 
women and children. Sutter was blamed at first, and 
accused of treachery, but he at once joined Pulpule, 
freed the captives as they were being dragged on 
board rafts on the river, and killed one who refused to 
give up his captives. Seven of the Cosumnes engaged 
in this affair and three Christians were subsequently 
shot in the presence of all the Indians; and such 
others of the San Jose neophytes as were caught 
were delivered to the authorities.*^ Sutter doubtless 
became somewhat less careful in his treatment of the 
natives as he became stronger. From the first he was 
in the habit of seizing Indian children, who were re- 
tained as servants, or slaves, at his own establishment, 
or sent to his friends in different parts of the country. 
But he always took care to capture for this purpose 
only children from distant or hostile tribes, and he 
generally treated his own servants with kindness. 

Sutter had probably a force of nearly twenty 
white men at New Helvetia by the end of 1840; but 
I am able to name but few. Robert Ridley, as we 
have seen, was in charge of the boat which made reg- 
ular trips down and up the river; William Daylor 
was here in 1840; and it is likely enough that half a 
dozen or more of Sutter's men, recruited at Yerba 
Buena and other places in California, have been 
named in my annual lists. William Burns seems to 
have been one of the original two or three who came 

'■ Sept. 20, 1840, Sutter's repoi-t to Capt. J. J. Vallejo at Sau Jos^, in 
Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 120. In his Pers. Rem., MS., 44-C, Sutter says 
the Indians surrendered at a lake about thii'ty miles south of the fort, and tliat 
M were put to death. Vallejo, Hist. Cat, MS., iv. IGG-S, relates that in 
eonsequence of this outrage by the S. JoS(S Indians, a force of Califomians 
was sent several times to the valley, rescued many captives, and took about 
80 prisoners. 


with Sutter from Honolulu; but who were his com- 
panions, who were the two or three that came with 
Lassen on the Lausanne, who were gathered in from 
the vagabond trappers of the valleys, or who, besides 
Nicholas Allgeier and Sebastian Keyser, had come 
overland from Oregon, we have no means of knowing. 
Some of the names to be given at their first appear- 
ance on the records in later annual lists should doubt- 
less be accredited to these years, but which ones it is 
impossible to say. Meanwhile, however, John Sin- 
clair had come from the Hawaiian Islands, and was 
found by Phelps in July 1840 living on a farm across 
the American River, and a few miles north of Sutter's 
place. I may add that at the time of Gi'aham's 
arrest and the general excitement about foreign plots 
no effort seems to have been made to interfere in any 
manner with those living at New Helvetia. 

I have constantly cited in foot-notes the authorities 
on each point presented for this as for earlier peri- 
ods, thus forming a complete bibliographical record. 
Nine tenths of the authorities cited have been origi- 
nal records in public or private archives; but many 
of the rest, being the writings of foreigners, pertain 
somewhat to my present topic. Of these, however, 
only a few require notice here as belonging almost 
exclusively to this period of 1836-40, and affording 
an opportunity to describe more fully than has been 
done the visits or voyages that brought them into ex- 
istence. And in this connection special mention 
should be made of Niles' National Register of Balti- 
]iiore, and to the Sandwich Island Gazette and Poly- 
nesian, two papers published at Honolulu. The files 
of these publications I have found to be of the great- 
est service, not only for the maritime records so fully 
given in the Hawaiian journals, but as reflecting the 
spirit of the American and European press on mat- 
ters affecting early California annals. 

Richard H. Dana, Jr., did not leave the coast until 


1836, but his most faseinatiniy narrative of Two Years 
befure the Mast has already been noticed under the 
year of the author's arrival. The book was, how- 
ever, published for the first time in the last year of 
this period. ^^ The only other visit of 1836 resulting 
in a book was that of the U. S. ship of war Peacock, 
Kennedy commanding, 600 tons, 22 guns. The Pea- 
cock left New York in June 1835, her primary busi- 
ness being to convey an embassy for the ratification 
of certain treaties in Muscat and Siam. Her course 
was to Rio Janeiro, round the Cape Good Hope; up 
the eastern coast of Africa, to Muscat, Hindoostan, 
Ceylon, Java, and Siam; to the Chinese coast; to 
the Bonin and Sandwich Islands ; thence to Califor- 
nia, the Mexican and South American coasts; and 
round Cape Horn, arriving at Norfolk in October 

1837. Dr W. S. W. Ruschenberger was surgeon to 
the expedition, and wrote the narrative, only a small 
portion of which pertains to California.''^ 

Commodore Kennedy being at the Islands in Sep- 
tember 1836, received from the merchants of Hon- 
olulu a memorial in which he was urged to visit the 
coast of California and Mexico, on the ground "that 
many serious outrages and unjust acts have been com- 
mitted by the governmental authorities of those coun- 
tries upon American vessels and seamen, and great 
losses and damages sustained in consequence." More- 
over, "we believe that no vessel of the U. S. has for 
many j'ears visited Upper California; and we have con- 
fidence that were a naval force to appear on that coast, 
it would render valuable service to our citizens resid- 
ing in those countries, would afford needed succor 
and protection to American vessels employed there, 
and be attended with results peculiarly advantageous 
to the general interests of our national commerce."^* 

'^ Notice of Dana's Two Years before the Mast, in chap, xiv., vol. iii. of 
this work. 

" Rmchenberger's Narrative of a Voyaoe round the World during the 
i'ear.i 7SJJ-57; ... London, 1838, Svo, 2 vol., with illustrations The mat- 
ter on California is on pp. 380-4; and chap. x.\i.-ii. p. 402-26. 

"The seizure of the Loriot at S. Francisco in 1833 was one of the out- 


In accordance with this request, the Peacock was di- 
rected across the Pacific and anchored at Monterey 
the 24tli of October. The visit was not eventfid, nor 
is much known of it in detail, no notice of the arrival 
even appearing in the archives. The author found 
Governor Gutierrez and his forces "nightly on guard, 
expecting an attack from some disaffected rancheros 
and Indians." He visited the deserted mission at 
Carraelo ; was visited by some trappers, who recounted 
their inland exploits, expressed proper amazement at 
all on shipboard, and exhibited their marksmanship; 
and met the old veteran. Captain William Smith. 
Then after six days, "the commodore having done all 
that was necessary in relation to the subjects of com- 
plaints under the existing circumstances," he got 
under way for Mazatlan on the 30th, just in time to 
avoid the revolution — of which, and the part to be 
taken in it by foreigners, the commander knew noth- 
ing, perhaps — but not until he had received from 
American residents and supercargoes a letter of thanks 
for his kind interference, and the 'higlily salutary' 
influence of his visit.^* There is no record of his 
investigation of abuses, if he made any. 

Ruschenberger gives a slight description of the 
town and bay of Monterey. He notes some facts 
respecting the commercial interests of the country; 
records his observations briefly on several Californian 
institutions; speaks of the ruinous condition of San 

rages complained of; and another vessel belonging to John C. Jones was be- 
lieved to be at present detained unlawfully. The signers of the memorial, 
many of whom were known in Cal. , and all engaged more or less iu the Cal. 
trade, were as follows: Peirce & Brewer, Jos Moore, Wm Paty, Ladd & Co., 
Sherman Peck, Hinckley & Smith, A. H. Fayerweather, Thos Cummins, 
Henry P. Stevens, Eliab Grimes & Co., Thos Jleek, Henry Paty & Co., J. 
Peabody, Eli Southworth, Jos Navarro, D. Owen, Sam. F. Shaw, A. C. 
Davis, John Paty, Sam. A. Gushing, Wm French, J. R. Thomas, J. Ebbetts, 
Steph. D. Mcintosh, Wra H. Pearce, Cornelius Hoyer, Nelson Hall, Chas 
Titcomb, Wm C. Little. 

35 The letter, dated Oct. 28th, was signed by Nathan Spear, F. D, Ather- 
tou, John Meek, Thos A. Norton, Thos 0. Larkin, Josiah Thompson, Wm S. 
Hinckley, Wm !M. Warren, A. G. Tomlinson, John H. Everett, Ed H. Faucon, 
Jos Carter, and Wm French. It was addressed to 'Com. Edmimd P. Ken- 
nedy, commanding East ludia Station, U. S. ship Peacock.' 


Cdrlos; illustrates by an anecdote the methods of 
administering justice; gives much attention, compar- 
atively, to the trappers ; and finally adds a short his- 
torical chapter, the matter of which was drawn from 
Venegas, and pertains almost exclusively to Baja Cal- 
ifornia. Except as a record of the visit, this book is 
of no special importance in its relation to California, 
though well written, and of real value in its informa- 
tion on other parts of the world. 

Thomas Nuttall, an English botanist, who had 
crossed the continent to the Columbia River in 1834, 
came to California apparently early in 1836, on a ves- 
sel from the Hawaiian Islands. Dana records his 
trip down the coast to San Diego in April, on the 
Pilgrim, and his sailing on the Alert for Boston in 
May. "That during this limited period Mr IS^uttall 
should have accomplished so much for California bot- 
any speaks volumes to his credit," says a recent writer; 
but what he accomplished, and how and when it was 
made known, are matters that have escaped my re- 
search.^^ Ferdinand Deppe, a German naturalist and 
supercargo, visited California on the liasselas, in Octo- 
ber of this year, on his way to Honolulu; but I have 
no record of his scientific labors here. 

Captain Sir Edward Belcher, R. 'N., in command 
of H. M. S. Sulphur, with the Starling under Lieu- 
tenant Kellett, visited California in 1837 and again 
in 1839. Captain Beechey had left Etigland at the 
end of 1835 in command of the expedition; but on 
account of his illness Belcher came out to succeed 
him, and took command at Panama in Februarv 1837. 
The route was up the coast to San Bias, to the 
Hawaiian Islands, to the north-west coast of America, 
to California, to the Mexican and Central American 
coasts, to Callao and back to Panamd in October 
1838. The second cruise was for the most part a 


repetition of the first until the navigator left Maza- 
tlan in January 1840 for the South Sea Islands and 
Singapore ; thence to China, where most of the year 
1841 was passed; and homeward to England round 
Cape Good Hope, arriving in August 1842. Belcher 
himself was the historian of the voyages, and the 
surgeon, R. B. Hinds, added an appendix. According 
to the i^ublished instructions to Beechey and Belcher, 
the main object of the expedition was the completion 
of a h3^drographic survey of the western coasts and 
islands of America; and it is in its information on 
this and cognate topics that the value of the narrative 
chiefly consists; though general and miscellaneous 
observations on the regions visited are by no means 

Coming from Nootka, the Sulphur anchored at 
Yerba Buena about midnight on October 19, 1837, 
leaving the Starling outside the heads to enter next 
day.^ Belcher had visited San Francisco before in 
1827, and both here and at Santa Clara, where he 
went in a vain search for supplies, as later at Monte- 
rey and elsewhere, he noted the striking evidences of 
deterioration and decay. Nowhere did he find any 
encouraging feature. "Another fate attends this coun- 
try. Their hour is fast approaching. Harassed on 
all sides by Indians, pestered by a set of renegade de- 
serters from whalers and merchant ships who start 
by dozens and will eventually form themselves into a 
bandit gang and domineer over them; unable from 

^''Belcher, Narrative of a Voyarje round the World, performed in Her 
Majesty's Ship 'Sulphur,'' during the years 1S36-1S42. . .by Captain Sir Ed- 
ward Belcher, R. N., C. B., F. E. A. S., etc., Commanderof the Expedition. 
London, 1843. 8vo, 2 vol. lUust. and maps. The portions relating to Cali- 
fornia are in vol. i., 'hydrographic instructions, 'p. xviii., and text, pp. 114-37^ 
312-28; and vol. ii. Appendix, 'Hinds's The Regions of Vegetation,' Califor- 
nia Region, p. .345-8. No illustrations or map for California. Scientific 
publications resulting from this expedition were: Hinds's Botany of the Voyage 
of H. M. S. Sn/phur ... Botanical Dexoriptions, by Oeorge B'-ntham, E^q. 
Loudon, 1844. ito; a.nA Hinds's Zoology of the Voyage. . .JjOadon, 1844. 4to. 
2 vol., with plates. Mammalia, by J. E. Gray; Birds, by J. Gould; Fish, by 
J. Richardson; MoUusca, by R. B. Hinds. 

'^ The arrival is also mentioned by Capt. Richardson in a letter to Vallejo. 
Vallejo, Doc., MS., iv. 328. 


want of spirit to protect themselves, they will soon 
dwindle into insignificance." "The missions, the only- 
respectable establishments in this country, are anni- 
hilated; they have been virtually plundered by all 
parties." "They sadly want the interposition of some 
jiowerful friend to rescue them. To Great Britain 
their hopes are directed; why, I cannot learn, but I 
am much inclined to think that it is rather from a 
pusillanimous fear and want of energy to stand by 
each other and expel their common enemies than 
from any friendly feeling to Great Britain. Besides 
this, they look with some apprehension upon a power 
daily increasing, an organized independent band of de- 
serters from American and English whalers. These 
men, headed by one or two noted daring characters now 
amongst them, will, whenever it suits their purpose, 
dictate their own terms and set all law at defiance" — 
a prophecy of the troubles with Graham and his band 
in 1840. Belcher's own crew contributed some half 
dozen men to this army of deserters, and besides, he 
found it difiicult to obtain needed supplies. 

The main object in entering San Francisco Bay 
was to complete the survey begun by Beechey by 
making explorations beyond the strait of Carquines 
and up the great rivers to the head of navigation. 
They started October 24th with the Starling — which, 
however, was left about 36 miles beyond the strait — 
pinnace, two cutters, and two gigs. He did not find 
the Jesus Maria and San Joaquin — the former be- 
cause there was no such stream distinct from the Sac- 
ramento, and the latter because its mouth and course 
were much farther south than he had been led to sup- 
jDose, as indeed he finally concluded, though pronounc- 
ing it "certainly not navigable nor entitled to be 
liamed as a river in conjunction with its majestic neigh- 
bor." As they advanced up the Sacramento the Ind- 
ians became more and more sliy, until at last it was 
found impossible to communicate with them. The 
highest point, reached on the 30th, and deemed the 


head of navigation about one hundred and fifty miles 
by the windings of the stream, was at a branch beyond 
which there was not water enough in either channel 
for the lightest boats, located in 38° 46' 47" and named 
Point Victoria, or Elk Station. This location is alto- 
gether unintelligible to me. Much descriptive mat- 
ter is given about the soil and vegetation of the banks, 
as well as of the animals and natives of the Oneshanate 
tribe. The broad plain was said to be bounded in 
the east by the Sierra Nevada, and on the west by 
the Bolbones and Diablo mountains. The trigono- 
metrical survey was completed down the river and 
connected with that of Beechey, the task not being 
completed, with hard and constant work, until Novem- 
ber 24th, a full month in all. No chart of the sur- 
vey is given, though a copy was promised to General 

At the end of November the vessels sailed, and 
anchored December 2d at Monterey, which town 
Belcher found "as much increased as San Francisco 
had fallen into ruin. It was still, however, very mis- 
erable, and wanting in the military air of 1827." 
Nothing was done here, so far as is shown by the 
narrative; and on the 6th the Sulphur sailed for San 
Bias, as the Starling had done some days before. 

Coming again from the north, Captain Belcher ar- 
rived on September 20, 1839, with his two vessels at 
Bodega, but at once made a trip of 48 hours to San 
Francisco and back, in the Sulphur.^ A description 
of the Russian establishment is given, though the 
commander was so busy in surveying the port that 

"Nov. 30, 1837, autograph letter of Belcher to Vallejo, in which he ex- 
presses regi-et at not meeting him; promises a copy of his chart — which he 
would leave now but for the fact that it is so confused as to be of no use; and 
complains of the desertion of his men. Vallejo, Doc. , MS. , i v. 35.5. Dec. 26th, 
Vallejo issues orders for the capture of the deserters. Id. , iv. 3G6. 

'"Sept. 21, 1S39, Belcher to Vallejo— in Spanish and not autograph — urg- 
ing him to capture and return the 11 deserters of the former visit. Vallejo, 
Doc., MS., viii. 164. He says nothing of the chart of the Sacramento. An 
order was promptly issued for the capture of the deserters. Id., viii. 185; S. 
Dieijo, Arch., MS., 206. The result does not appear; but it is probable that, 
some of Belcher's men were among the exiles of the next year. 
Hist. Cai.., Vol. IV. 10 


he had no time to visit Ross in person. The survey- 
completed, the vessels proceeded to San Francisco for 
supplies and the completion of certain observations, 
touching for one day only at Monterey, the 5th of 
October. Thence the expedition moved down the 
coast, touching at Santa Bdrbara the 9th; at San 
Pedro the 11th; at San Juan the 13th. One of the 
vessels visiting Santa Catalina Island, they arrived at 
San Diego on the 17th, and five days later sailed for 
the southern coasts. 

In connection with this cruise down the Californian 
coast, some local descriptive matter is given in the 
narrative, which for both visits contains occasional 
references to the unfortunate condition of the country 
and the ruin of the missions. Hinds in his appendix 
on the 'regions of vegetation' gives three pages only 
of general remarks on the extent, physical character, 
climate, and flora of the Californian region — including 
the country between the Columbia and the Colorado. 
In the absence of charts to show the details of the 
hydrographic survey, Belcher's book cannot be said 
to have much value so far as California is concerned. 

William A. Slacum was commissioned by the U. 
S. government to obtain information about the Pacific 
coast, particularly Oregon. He came down from the 
Columbia in the spring of 1837 on the Loriot, with 
Young and Edwards' party of cattle-buyers, a party 
which he aided in fitting out. We have no details of 
his experience in California from February 19th, when 
he arrived at Ross, to March 2d, the date of his leav- 
ing Monterey for San Bias ; but in his report to the 
secretary of state, dated March 26th, he gave an ac- 
count of Young's enterprise, and a good description of 
the Russian establishment, at the same time promis- 
ing another report on California, which I have not 
;seen.*^ This report was published in 1839, and with 

*^SIacnvi's Report, 1S37, in U. S. Govt Doc, 25th coug. Sd sess., House 
Rep,, no. JOl, p. 29-46. Slacum notes a material change in the climate of 
the coast. Formerly from May to Oct. the prevailing winds had been from 
N. w. tow., aad in Nov. to Apr. from s. w. to S. S. w.; but for three 


it another by Hall J. Kelley, whose visit, already de- 
scribed, had been in 1834. This writer devotes half 
a dozen pages to a "brief geographical account of the 
northern portion of High California," not very inac- 
curate, considering Kelley's limited opportunities of 

The voyage of the French frigate Venus, command- 
ed by Captain Abel du Petit-Thouars, who was also 
the historian of the expedition, lasted from December 
1836 to June 1839. The route was from Brest to 
Brazil, round Cape Horn, to Callao, to Honolulu, to 
Kamchatka, to California, down the coast to San Bias 
and Valparaiso, to the South Sea Islands, and home 
by Cape Good Hope, meeting Belcher's expedition at 
several j^oints. The primary object was to investigate 
the whale-fisheries of the North Pacific, with a view 

years past (since 1834) the winds had been exactly, reversed, making the win- 
ters much colder. Thermometer at Ross, Oct. 1836, 43° to 66°; Nov. , 38° to 72°; 
Dec, 36° to 62°; Jan. 1837, 38° to 58°; Feb., 43° to 56°. Feb. 12, 1837, Va- 
Uejo to Alvarado. Is informed that a U. S. commissioner is expected on the 
Loriot to survey the coast. Vallejo, Doc, MS., iv. 75. 

*'^ Kelley's Memoir on Oregon and High California, dated Jan. 31, 1839, and 
published in the same document as Slacum's report, p. 47-61. Kelley speaks 
of California, ' because it has been and may be again made the subject of con- 
ference and negotiation between Mexico and theU. S.; and because its future 
addition to our western possessions is most unquestionably a matter to be de- 
sired. ' ' There is one continuous line of prairie extending from the gulf of 
Cal. to the 39th parallel, sometimes 100 miles wide and seldom less than 10, 
opening to the ocean only at the bay of San Francisco ' — very fertile, but prob- 
ably not fitted for profitable cultivation on account of alkali and asphaltum. 
'The coast is always healthy; but during the heat of summer the prairies of 
the interior are pestilential, and diseases abound. ' The only harbors visited 
and described are Sta Cruz and S. F. — the latter the best harbor in N. W. 
America, except one in the strait of Fuca. Of the S. Joaquin: 'This tranquil 
river must eventually become pi'oductive of vast benefit to California, not 
merely as a convenient and ready inlet for commercial purposes, b\it as agreat 
outlet through which shall be drained those superfluous waters by which so 
much of the prairie is converted into a marsh and rendered fruitful only of 
disease and death. It is indeed a vast canal, constructed by an almighty 
architect, and destined, I doubt not, in future ages to transport the couutless 
products of a mighty empire. ' The ' Sacrament ' is also described .is 'navi- 
gable for vessels of small burden to its first fork, about SO miles from its 
mouth.' 'When I remember the e.xuberant fertility, the exhaustlcss natmal 
wealth, the abundant streams and admirable harbors, and the adv.iiitai;L'(>us 
shape and position of High California, I cannot but believe that at no \fry dis- 
tant day a swarming multitude of human beings will again people the solitude, 
and that the monuments of civilization will throng along those streams and 
cover those fertile vales.' 


to the further development of that industry and the 
protection of French interests. The presence of a 
national vessel on the western coasts of America was 
expected to have a good moral effect by inspiring re- 
spect for the French flag; and the commander was 
instructed not only to encourage and protect the com- 
mercial interests of his country, but also to acquire 
all possible information respecting the actual condition 
of the various countries visited. The members of the 
scientific corps were to seize every opportunity for 
making observations on hydrographic and other spe- 
cial matters. The voyage was prosperous in most re- 
spects, and the results were published in 1840.*^ 

The Venus, coming from the far north with a force 
of over three hundred men, anchored at Monterey 
October 18, 183^.** Many of the men were sick ^yith 
scurvy, but through the kindness of David Spence 
a vacant house on shore was furnished for a hospital 
as well as observatory, and all were cured but one man, 
who was buried with militar^^ honors at San Cdrlos. 
The frigate saluted the fort and was saluted in turn 
with an equal number of guns. Governor Alvarado 
received the navigators with his usual hearty polite- 
ness, sending on board some baskets of grapes, and 
granting every facility for making observations and 
obtaining needed supplies. A grand ball was given 
to the strangers during their stay, which affair, with 
a visit to the mission of San Ciirlos, to which the 

*^ Petit-Thouari^, Voyage autotir dumonde snrla frigate La V6mis, pendant 
les annfes 1836-1SS9. PublU par ordre du roi, sous les auspices du Ministre 
de la Marine, par Abel du, Petit- Thouars, capitainedevaisseau, Commandeur de 
laLigion-d'fJoiineur. Paris, 1S40-4. 8vo, jvol. map. The author in his pref- 
ace speaks of charts of all the ports in which the Vf'nus .nnchored, and also 
of an Album Pillorresijue in folio of drawings accompanying the narrative; 
but I have not seen either. The portions relating to Cal. are as follows: 
tom. ii. p. 77-144, narrative of visit and historical account; torn. iii. p. 328- 
31, condensed narrative in a report presented on the return to France; 345- 
92, occasional slight mentions in a report on the whale-fishery; also in sheets 
at end of vohime, accounts of supplies furnished, etc.; tom. iv. ji. 1-33, Cal. 
documents in A'oto e< Pieces Justijicaiives ; tom. v. p. 177-85, 430-1, scien- 
tific notes, with some memoranda on events of the visit, in Journal des Ob- 
eerviiiions Ditaclu'etf. 

" I have found in the archives nothing about the presence of this vessel. 


Frenchman was prompted by tlie narrative of La 
Perouse, are the only events of the visit recorded, 
except such as were connected with the making of 
scientific observations and the obtaining of supplies. 
This latter was attended with some difficulty. No- 
tice of the arrival had been sent in advaiice from 
Honolulu, and it was hoped to find provisions pre- 
pared for sale. But such was not the case. Flour 
was scarce, and the ship's bakers, establishing them- 
selves on shore, had to work day and night to provide 
a supply of biscuits. The sum paid for provisions, 
including twenty-two beeves, was about §8,000.*^ 
Captain Hinckley's vessel, the Kamamalu, was char- 
tered to go to San Francisco for provisions and water. 
The trip took from October 20th to November 2d; 
and M. M. Chiron, Tessan, and Mesnard took advan- 
tage of it to complete their scientific survey of San 
Francisco. The Venus finally left Monterey the 14th 
of November. 

Petit-Thouars' work is a much more valuable one, 
so far as California is concerned, tlian tliat of Bel- 
cher. In addition to the brief narrative of the visit 
itself, to scientific observations of difi^'erent kinds not 
particularly important in this part of the voyage, and 
to very complete descriptive matter on the only part 
of the country visited, the Frencli navigator gives an 
excellent sketch of Californian history for the ten 
years preceding his visit, especially of the revolu- 
tionary troubles then in progress, and of the actual 
condition of the country, its people, and its institu- 
tions. Naturally the author fell into some errors. 
But from no other single work, I think, could so com- 
plete and accurate an idea of the subject be obtained. 
He was the first of visitors to collect original docu- 
ments, ten of which, relating to the revolution, and 

"Vallejo, Hist. Cal., MS., iii. 314-16, states that Petit-Thouars on be- 
ing solicited by some of the officers who without Alvarailo's knowledge 
wished to purchase powder in exchange for beeves, refused to sell, but 
landed the powder, about 500 lbs, in the night as a gift, being willing to 
favor secretly the cause of the Californians. 


for the most part unknown to other writers, are pre- 
sented, with translations. True, later writers have, 
not utilized these documents, and they are of little 
use to me, as I have the originals ; yet this in no wise 
detracts from the credit due M. Petit-Thouars. His 
map of the world, so far as it shows California, is of 
no importance here. It shows only the coast on a 
small scale, and in the broad interior the four great 
rivers Columbia, Colorado, Rio Grande, and Arkan- 

Bonneville's Map, 1S37. 

sas rising in the same region. But I copy here a re- 
duction of Bonneville's map of 1837, the accuracies 
and inaccuracies of which need no remark.^® 

In 1838 there is neither foreign visit nor book to 
be noted here; but 1839 gave to the world a most 
excellent r^sum^ of Californian history, written by 

« }f'arre>i's Mem., 34, pL iv. 


Alexander Forbes and edited by. John Forbes, a 
brother of the author residing in London/' The 
author was an English merchant, long a resident of 
Tepic. He had never visited California, so far as I 
know, but he was brought constantly in contact with 
intelligent men who were familiar with the country, 
being also in correspondence with prominent Califor- 
nians, notably with Jose Bandini, from whom in the 
form of letters he derived much of the information 
published in his book.*^ The manuscript was com- 
pleted and sent to England in October 1835; but the 
publication being delayed, additional material was 
supplied by the author and others, bringing the nar- 
rative in a sense down to 1838. I have given the 
title and contents in full in a note. Of course in so 
small a volume nothing but the merest outline of his- 
tory could be given, as drawn from Venegas and 
Palou for the earlier times, with only here and 
there a salient point of later annals. It was not in 
any sense as a history of the past that the book has 
value, but rather as a presentation by an intelligent 

*' Forbes, California: A History of Upper and Lower California from their 
irst dixcovery to the present lime, comprising an accozint of the climate, soil, 
natural productions, agriculture, commerce, etc. A full view of the missionary 
establishments and condition of the free and domesticated Indians. With an 
appendix relating to steam navigation in the Pacific. Illustrated with a new 
map, plans of the harbors, and mi/merous engravings. By Alexander Forbes, 
Esq. London, 1839, 8vo, x\ri. 352, pi. and map. Part i. 1-75, relates to 
Baj a California exclusively. Of part ii., chap, i., 79-130, contains a r^sumS 
of the early history of Alta California down to 1784; chap, ii., 131-53, pre- 
sents very briefly indeed the ' Recent history of Upper California, present 
political condition and prospects,' down to 1838; chap, ui., 154-79, on topog- 
raphy and natural productions ; chap, iv., 180-98, on the Indians; chap, v., 
199-1245, on the missions; chap, vi., 246-80, on agriculture and live-stock; 
cliap. vii., 281-308, on commerce and navigation; chap, viii., 309-25, on Cal- 
ifornia as a field for foreign colonization. Appendix, i. Remarks on the har- 
boi-s of California. . .by Capt. John Hall (from a visit in 1822); ii. Letter to 
the editor on steam navigation in the Pacific; iii. Various extracts on the 
same subject. Illustrations, chiefly by Capt. Wm Smyth: portrait of Padre 
I'eyri, a native Indian, view of Monterey Bay, S. F. Harbor, Sta Barbara, 
Indian bath, S. Cdrlos Mission, presidio and pueblo of Monterey, S. F. M is- 
sion. Throwing the lasso and S. Jos^ Mission, Map of California with plans 
of the harbors of Bodega, S. F., Monterey, Sta Barbara, S. Pedro, and S. 
Diego, the maps by John Hall, except that of S. F. copied from Beechey. 

** See Bandini, Carta histtirica y descriptiva de Cal, 1S2S, MS. This is a 
long letter directed to Barron, Forbes' partner, and was doubtless obtained 
and used for Forbes' book. 


man of business of the country's actual condition, 
capabilities, institutions, and prospects. Forbes' 
book was not only the first ever published in English 
relating exclusively to California, and more than any 
other the means of making known to English read- 
ers the country's advantages, but it has always main- 
tained its reputation of being one of the best extant 
on the subject. I reproduce a portion of Forbes' 

FoKBEa' Map, 

In 1839, also, another French voyager visited Cali- 
fornia. This was Captain Cyrille Pierre Theodore 
Laplace, commanding the frigate Aridmise, of 50 guns 
and 450 men. Her voyage round the world was in 
1837-40; her mission substantially the same as that 
of the Venus; and her route was round Cape Good 
Hope, to the Sandwich Islands, to California, and 
home by Cape Horn. The narrative of the expedi- 


tion was written by the commander, and though the 
first volume was published in 1841, the last, containino' 
the part in which we are interested, did not appear 
until 1854.*» 

Coming from Honolulu, Laplace anchored at Bo- 
dega on August 11, 1839, soon proceeding to Ross, 
where he was entertained by Rotchef for some nine 
days, being shown all there was to be seen in that re- 
gion, and regaled with many details respecting the 
operations and prospects of the Russian American 
Company. On the 20th he sailed for San Francisco, 
where he arrived next day, and remained probably 
four days.°° Here he anchored near the fort, and 
spent his short stay apparently in waiting to get 
away. He visited the presidio and Yerba Buena, and 
at various points on the peninsula mused at some 
length on the surrounding desolation. There was no 
genial comandaiite with a family of beautiful daugh- 
ters to entertain him, as they had some French navi- 
gator of earlier times ; and San Francisco had no charm 
for him — nothing but fogs, fleas, winds, and sterility. 
Some provisions were with difiiculty obtained. The 
visitors would not pay the price demanded for hoi'ses 
on which to visit the surrounding regions; they could 
not wait to see a bull-fight; and after gleaning some 
information from conversation with an English cap- 
tain, probably Richardson, Laplace sailed for Mon- 

*' Laplace, Campapne de Circumnavigation de la frigate VArtimixe pendant 
les annies 1S37, 1S3S, 1S39, et IS40, sous le commandement de M. Laplace, capi- 
taine de vaisneau. . .Paris, 1841-54. 8vo, 6 vol. The portion relating to Cal. 
is in vol. vi., and is divided as follows: p. 41-178, stay at Bodega and Ross, 
with descriptive matter and very long digressions upon matters in the far 
north; p. 180-230, general history and condition of California; p. 234-70, stay 
at S. F. ; p. 272-84, at Sta Cruz; and p. 283-305, at Monterey. 

5° Aug. 21, 1839, French frigate Armistice arrived from Ross; will saU for 
Monterey in 4 days. VaUcjo, Doc, MS., viii. 50. Aug. 23d, Guerrero to 
prefect. The Artemisia axvivnH on the 2l3t. Would not go to Yerba Buena, 
but anchored near the fort {?). Asked if any Frenchmen had complaints to 
make; had just come from giving the protestants a lesson at the Islauds, and 
had recovered $20,000 for outrages to French missionaries. Guerrero has 
taken the precaution to placeaguard in the fort. Dept. St. Pap., Mont., MS., 
iv. 107. Laplace, clearly by a typographical error, says he was ready to sail 
Aug. 20th, but was prevented by fogs, etc., until two days later. 


At Sta Cruz, where the Art^mise anchored for an 
afternoon and night," all looked well from a distance. 
Here surely the Frenchman would receive the deli- 
cate and hospitable attentions of which a perusal of 
La Perouse's journal had caused him to dream; but 
the illusion vanished on nearer approach when "un 
spectacle de misere et d'abandon s'oftrit h. mes re- 
gards." Not only was there no welcome nor enter- 
tainment nor offer of gratuitous supplies, but the farm- 
ers of the region demanded prices so exorbitant for 
their provisions that no purchase was effected. True, 
one pretty ranchera redeemed the reputation of Santa 
Cruz, and made herself a general favorite by offering 
to sell all kinds of produce at low rates ; but this Julie 
fcrmiere disappeared at sight of the ferocious priest, 
and failed to deliver her supplies at the shore as had 
been promised. 

It was perhaps the 27th of August that the frigate 
anchored at Monterey, where she remained a week. 
Here, although there was some difficulty in obtaining 
provisions, Laplace was pleased with all he saw. En- 
thusiastic over the natural beauties of the site, he also 
found artificial improvements, the existence of which 
had never been suspected by previous visitors. The 
ladies of the capital, moreover, were charming. All 
the best people were entertained over and over again 
on board the Artemise; and the officers were always 
welcome at the best houses on shore. The men re- 
gained their health in rides and walks over a charming 
country; while the commander wandered about the 
town studying the peculiarities of the people and hold- 
ing long conversations with 'un gentleman ^cossais,' 
David Spence, of course, who was the source for the 
most part of all the Frenchman's information on Califor- 
nian history and condition. Spence's theory respecting 
the means by which the country might hope to escape 
the fate of American invasion was, that the governor 

"Aug. 1839, Bolcof to prefect. Announces the arrival. Monterey, Arch., 
MS., ix. 17. 


should follow more implicitly the counsel and depend 
more on the support of respectable foreign residents, 
as there was no other way to protect himself and Cal- 
ifornia against Mexican imbeciles and American ad- 
venturers. Alvarado was absent when Laplace arrived, 
but came to town the next day with a most cordial 
greeting, notwithstanding the current troubles between 
Mexico and France — troubles which Laplace chose to 
ignore during his visit. The same night Alvarado 
became dangerously ill, and his life is said to have 
been saved by the ship's surgeon. A strong recipro- 
cal admiration was developed between the navigator 
and the governor, and neither in his narrative has 
anything but praise and compliments for the other. '"^^ 
The expedition embarked September 5th, but could 
not leave the bay till five days later, not touching 
elsewhere in California. 

Laplace was a man of much ability in a literary 
way, some of his descriptions being very fine ; and he 
was also an intelligent observer. The value, however, 
of his published work, so far as it affects California, 
is seriously impaired by his habit of drifting constantly 
into the by-ways of long and fanciful speculations; and 
also by the fact that it was published after the dis- 
covery of gold, so that the author's impressions and 
predictions of 1839 are inextricably blended with the 
knowledge of later years. His general view of the 
country's condition is accurate enough; and should 
any student ever have the leisure time to classify and 
condense his diflfuse material, the result would pi^obably 
be a sketch similar in many respects, though less com- 
plete, to that of his predecessor Petit-Thouars. 

"Alvarado, Hist. Cat, MS., iii. 200-2; iv. 172-81, tells «s that while on 
his way to Sta Clara to be married — the marriage was by proxy on Au;;;. 24th— 
he got a note from Jimeno that Laplace wished to see him on important mat- 
ters, and hastened to Monterey. He received a sword from the Frenchman 
at parting. He declares that they had several private inter\'iews, at which 
Laplace warned him of hostile intentions on the part of the United States, 
assuring him also that France, while not at liberty to take the initiative, 
would favorably receive a proposition for a protectorate. 


In 1840 the visits of the French frigate Danaide, 
and that of the U. S. vessel St Louis on special ser- 
vice, gave origin to no published narratives. W. D. 
Phelps, who came to the coast this year in command 
of the Boston ship Alert, published thirty-sis years 
later a journal of his numerous voyages to different 
jDarts of the world, including this and later ones to Cal- 
ifornia. The book is not only well written and fasci- 
nating, a good specimen of an excellent class of publi- 
cations, but it gives information of some value on 
several historical points. Such points, however, have 
been or will be treated in the proper place, so that 
here the book calls for no further notice.'^ 

The only other visitor of this last year of the period 
whose book I have to mention was Thomas J. Farn- 
ham, an enterprising American who crossed the plains 
to Oregon in 1839, visited the Hawaiian Islands and 
California in 1840, and returned to the United States 
through Mexico the same year, coming back westward 
in time to die at San Francisco in 1848. He wrote a 
book on each of the three subdivisions of his journey; 
and the volumes were often republished in various 
forms and admixtures." He came from Honolulu on 
the Don Quixote, arriving at Monterey April 18th, 
sailing ten days later, and touching at Santa Barbara 
from April 30th to May 5th. During his brief stay 
he was largely occupied with matters pertaining to 
the imprisoned foreigners, as elsewhei-e related ; so far 
as his personal observations are concerned, his book 
contains but little on any other subject. It is a read- 
able work, the writer having an attractive way of ex- 
pressing his ideas. That is about all that can be said 

^ Phelps, Fore and Aft; or Leaves from the life of an old sailor. By 
Webfoot. With illustrations by HammattBiUinris. Boston, 1871. l'2mo, .S59p. 
The parts relating to Cal. are p. 236-76, on voyage of 1S40-2, being chap, xxi., 
A California cruise; chap, xxii., California in 1S40; chap, xxiii., The Com. 
Jones war, 1842; chap. xxiv. The Hudson's Bay Co.; p. 277-321, on a voyage 
of 1845-6, being chap, xxv., How California became ours; chap, xxvi., Tak- 
ing possession of the country; chap, xxvii., The war continued; and p. 322- 
52, chap, xxviii.-ix., The last voyage, 1854. 

^'Fariiham's Travels in the Great Western Prairies. Ed. of 1841, 1843 (2), 
and London, n. d. Id., History of Oreqon. Territory. Ed. of 1844 and 1845. 
Id., Mexico: Its Geor/raphy, etc. Ed. of 1846, and u. d. 

FAENHAM AND J. F. B. M. 157 

in its favor. The reader already knows what vakie to 
place upon Farnham's statement respecting the Gra- 
ham aft'air. His estimates and descriptions of Cali- 
fornians, against "whom he conceived a bitter prejudice, 
are as a rule absurdly false; and the same prejudice 
seriously impairs his version of Californian history and 
condition during 1836-40. He added a long sketch of 
Lower California, historical and descriptive, and a 
briefer one of Upper California, after the manner of 
Forbes; and these parts of his work are by far the least 
faulty, since he took all his material from a few well 
known sources, was an intelligent compiler, and was 
comparatively free from his anti-Mexican prejudice; 
yet many inexcusable inaccuracies appear even in these 
parts, and the book had a circulation and populai^ity 
which it by no means deserved. ^^ 

Another American passenger on the Don Quixote 
was J. F. B. M., who also wrote a narrative of his 
voyage, with his experiences at Monterey, Santa Bar- 
bara, Mazatlan, and the overland journey from San 
Bias to Mexico. He wrote in a pleasing style, and 
his observations were those of an intelligent man, but 
his opportunities in California were not great. He 
reflects Farnham's views on the Graham affair, though 
in more moderate tone, having personally visited the 
exiles at Tepic. From Cdrlos Carrillo at Santa Bar- 
bara he obtained a peculiar version of late j^olitical 
events in California.^^ 

^' Farnham's Life and Adventures in California, and Scenes in the Pacific 
Ocean, N. Y. 1846; Svo, 410 p. This is the edition I have used. Jd., N. Y. 
1847; Id., Travels in the Californias, etc., N. Y. 1844, Svo, 416 p. The ear- 
liest edicion of the work, which is exactly the saiuc except in title. Id., Life, 
A dceiiturcs, and Travels in Cal. , to which is added the Conquest of Cal. , Travels 
in Orerj.m, and History of the Gold Regions, N. Y. 1840: Id.. 1850; Id., 1853; 
Id., Pictorial Edition (Hist, of the Gold Region omitted), N. Y. 1855; Id., 
1857. Tlie pictures must be seen to be appreciated. They would fit any 
other subjects quite as well as the ones they purport to illustrate. All the 
editions, except possibly one or two that I have not seen, arc alike in paging 
up to p. 416. The author's experiences and matters connected therewith 
occupy p. 50-116, 402-16. The rest is historical and descriptive. 

'"M. {J. F. B.), Leaves from my Journal, in Honolulu Polynesian, ii. 77, 
86,89,93,97. Oct.-Nov. 1840. I do not know the author's name. He was 
not allowed to land at Monterey till after the exiles departed; and returning 
from a visit to 8. Carlos, he wasan-ested for crossing the bridge on horseback, 
being saved from the calabozo by Spence. 




Yearly Vessels — Resume— Report of 1831 — Khlebnikof's Mission — Vic- 
toria's Policy — Figueroa's Diplomacy — Vallejo's Mission to Ross^ 
Wrangell and Beechey — Annals of 1834-9 — Kostromitinof Suc- 

of Extension — His Failure in Mexico, 1836 — Resolve to Abandon 
Ross, 1838-9— Proposed Sale to Hudson's Bay Company — Affair op 
THE 'Lausanne,' 1840— Vallejo and Kuprianof— Proposed Sale to 
Vallejo — Land and Buildings — Absurd Instructions fro3i JIexico 
— Sale to Sutter — Contract and Deed — No Land Purchased — Rus- 
sian Title to Ross — The Muldrow Claim of Later Years— Depart- 
ure OF THE Colonists — How the Debt was Paid, 1845-50. 

Yet further foreign relations remain to be pre- 
sented here — the annals of Ross or of the Russians 
in California. I have already given a description of 
Ross and its various institutions, appljaug, so far as 
such a sketch has any chronology, to the whole period 
of the colony's existence, but suspending the histor- 
ical record at the year 1830.' Later occurrences I 
have thought best to leave until now, to be treated 
collectively in one chapter, because they are of but 
slight importance in their relation to the general his- 
tory of the country. And now I propose to continue 
the subject to its end, the abandonment by the Rus- 
sians of their Californian possessions in 1841. 

Vessels of the company continued to come annual- 
ly, one or two each year, from Sitka and Ross to San 
Francisco for grain, occasionally for some special pur- 

'See vol. ii., chap, x.xviii., for descriptive sketch and annals of 182: 
For earlier annals of Ross, see chap. iv. and xiv. of the same volume. 



pose extending their trips to Monterey. During the 
decade of 1831-40 the Baikal made at least five vis- 
its; the Sitka, four; the Urup, three; and the Elena 
and Polifemia, two each ; in addition to the Nikolai, 
which touched on her way to Europe in 1840.^ 

We have seen that as early as 1820 the company 
had offered to give up the colony in exchange for un- 
restricted trade; and that in 1827 the managers had 
pretty nearly abandoned all hope of final success at 
Ross. During the Mexican revolution Russia might 
probably without much difficulty have secured and 
extended her Californian possessions, but took no steps 
to do so. Patriotism had moved the Mexicans to 
agitate the old questions of Russian intrusion to some 
extent, but in the north the agitation was exclusively 
one of pen and paper, altogether without effect in dis- 
turbing relations with Ross, which became in some 
respects more friendly than ever before. Governor 
Echeandia had not only extended the contracts for 
otter-hunting on shares, but he had even recom- 
mended to his government to recognize the legitimacy 
of the colony on condition that Russia would formally 
acknowledge Mexican sovereignty over the territory. 
Still the Russians could see no chance for ultimate 
security. The governor stated in his report of April 
30, 1831, that Ross with its present limits was worth 
no sacrifices to retain; if it could be extended two 
hundred versts inland and southward so as to include 
an anchorage on San Francisco Bay, it would be a 
possession of great value.^ 

About this time the colonists made an effort to ex- 
tend their agricultural operations south-eastward, but 
without success, on account of opposition from the 
Californians.* On the Baikal, which arrived at the 

^ See the maritime lists at end of chap. xiii. , vol. iii. , and chap. iii. of this 

' Zavcdhhin, Delo o Kolonhj Ross, 28-30. In the same report he says that 
two boats were being built as gifts for P. Narciso Durau at S. Jose. Zava- 
lishin thinks this making of presents had no other effect than to confirm the 
Mexicans in their ' pretended rights.' 

* Jan. 1, 1831, P. AniorOs to president. Has made a tour from S. Rafael 


end of 1830, Baron Wrangell, the new governor of 
Russian America, sent Khlebnikof to treat in general 
for a continuance of friendly commercial relations, but 
more particularly for a renewal of the otter contracts, 
and for a reduction in the current price of grain. In 
the latter object Khlebnikof seems to have been suc- 
cessful, largely on account of threats of going to Chili 
for wheat, as they had done once or twice before ; but 
Victoria refused to allow any continuance of otter- 
hunting. Both in his letter to Wrangell and in his 
report to the government, however, he expressed the 
most friendly feelings toward the Russians, and a wish 
to favor them in every legal way, especially in prefer- 
ence to the dangerous Americans. He told Wrangell 
that he believed Mexico would gladly approve a most 
liberal treaty, if Russia would consent to recognize 
the independence and abandon Ross. Wrangell wrote 
a courteous and flattering letter in reply, but expressed 
the opinion that a treaty on the terms j^roposed 
should be discussed by national and not colonial au- 
thorities; especially as the matter was not urgent — 
"for the company, having discovered other means of 
providing for the needs of the colonies, no longer finds 
itself in the unavoidable necessity of causing embar- 
rassment to the Californian government."^ 

among the pagans. His arrival caused the Russians, who had come 12 leagues 
from Ross to tUl the soil at Santiago, to change their plans. Arch. Sla B., 
MS., xii. 183. Jan. Sth, Echeandfa, with the expressed view of checking 
Russian encroachment, grants Sta Rosa to Rafael Gomez. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. 
Mil., MS., Ix.xi. 7-8. May 6, Gov. Victoria to miu. of war. He learns that 
the Russians with 40 armed men and some Indians had come near Solano, and 
begun to till the soil. Will consult with the gov. of Sitka. Dept. ^.c, MS., 
ix. 129. May 6, 1S33, two years ago the Russians made some plantings at 
Tamalanica, 3 1. from Bodega, and 5 1. from Ross. But the place was aban- 
doned on account of the remonstrances of the comandante at S. F. Vallejo, 
Doc, MS., ii. 140. It seems that some time in 1831, J. M. Padr(5s was scut 
to Ross: and he was accused by Victoria of having slandered the Cal. govt 
during his visit. Dept. Ilcc, MS., ix. 144. 

5 Oct. 20, 1830, Wrangell from N. Archangel to gov. of Cal. So sure was 
he of success that he sent some Aleuts with their bidarkas on the Baikal, 
with Khlebnikof. Vallejo, Doc., MS., xxx. 138. April 13, 1831, Victoria to 
min. of war, announcing his refusal, and that Khk-bnikof has taken away his 
hunters. Has received vases, mirrors, etc., as presents for the pres. of Mex- 
ico, but retains them, as they are not worth paying the freight. Dept. Pee., 
MS., ix. 121-2. JMarch 5th, V. to \V. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxx. 189. Sept. 


There is nothing to be said of the Russian estab- 
lishment in 1832, except that it was mentioned in the 
instructions issued to Figueroa, who was to report in 
detail on tlie force maintained at Bodega, and on the 
designs entertained by the strangers; also favoring in 
every possible way the foundation of northern settle- 
ments to check possible encroachments.'^ 

The enterprising and diplomatic Figueroa soon be- 
gan his investigations, by methods peculiar to himself 
In April 1833, he sent Alferez Vallejo to Ross to ne- 
gotiate for the purchase of arms, munitions, and cloth- 
ing for the Californian soldiers, and at the same time 
to secretly acquaint himself with the exact condition 
of the colon}^' Vallejo carried letters from the gov- 
ernor to Manager Kostromitinof and to Wrangell, 
who as was thought might have arrived. These let- 
ters were filled with expressions of cordial good-Avill, 
and of a desire for closer relations of friendship and 
commerce with all foreigners, and especially with 
neighbors so highly esteemed. The colonial authori- 
ties were also urged to use their influence with the 
court of St Petersburg to promote the recognition of 
Mexican independence by the tsar.^ Having thus 
expressed his kindly feelings toward the Russians, 
Figueroa only two days later wrote to the national 
government, denouncing those highly esteemed neigh- 
bors as intruders who had trampled upon the laws of 

27tb, W.'a reply toV. St. Pap., Miss, and Colon., MS., ii. 322-4. Tikhm6nef, 
Istor. Obofranie, i. 345, says that Wrangell's threat of going to Chili proJuceil 
the desireil efl'ect, and the Urvp obtained 2,300 fan. of wheat at 82 in money 
and $3 in goods; and from that time shipments of provisions became more 
punctual and satisfactory. 

^Figueroa, /nstruccioi'ies Generates, 1S33, MS., art. 7, 11. Dejraty Carrillo 
in his e.\posicion to cons^-ess in 1S31, had spoken somewhat bitterly against 
the Kussians, whom he charged with a disposition to defend their usurpation 
by force of arms. 

' April 11, 1S33, F. to v., specifying the articles to be purchased, includ- 
ing 200 rifles or rauskets, 150 cutlasses, 200 saddles, shoes, lead, etc. Ho is 
to assure the Russians of the Californians' good-will, etc., but is not to eater 
into any diplomatic questions. Dept. St. Pap., Den. Mil., MS., Ixxix. 3.>-5. 
Figueroa's confidential instructions on the investigation to be made are not 

« April 10, 1S33, Figueroa to Kostromitinof and Wrangell. St. Pup., J/;*s. 
and Colon., MS., ii. 312-15; Vallejo, Doc, MS., xiii. 4G7. 
Hisi. Co.., Vol. IV. 11 


nations and of Mexico, and aimed at territorial en- 
croachment. Wrangell was expected at Ross, as it 
was said, to found a new settlement at Santa Rosa, 
and with the same object in view the desertion of 
neophytes from San Rafael was being encouraged." 
Vallejo made his visit to Ross, succeeded in purchas- 
ing most of the required articles, and rendered on 
May 5th a confidential report on what he had been 
able, acting "con el disimulo que me fue posible y con 
una indiferencia aparente,' to .see and hear during the 
trip. The report did not indicate any new or danger- 
ous designs on the part of the Russians.^" 

Wrangell finally came in person to Ross in July, 
and Hartnell went there at his invitation for an inter- 
view, and was employed as an agent to obtain cargoes 
of produce, and, if possible, certain exemptions from 
the payment of duties." While at Ross Wrangell 
addressed to Figueroa a letter in which he warmly 
defended his company against the charges of the 
English navigator Beechey, charges which he declared 
altosether without foundation, to the effect that the 

° April 12, 183.S, F. to sec. of war and na^^. St. Pap., Miss, and Colon., 
MS., ii. 302-6. The writer's idea was doubtless to exaggerate the dangers, 
so as to claim for himself the greater credit for averting them. Popularity 
was Figueroa's constant aim from first to last. The idea of WranL'ell's pur- 
pose to occupy Sta Kosa came from Vallejo, who in his letter of March 31st 
had urged the formation of new settlements and the stationing of a competent 
person on the frontier to conduct negotiations with the Russians. Vallejo, 
Doc, ilS., ii. 2S; St. Pap., Miss, and Colon., MS., ii. 310. I^ater in the 
}-ear Padre Mercado at S. Rafael complained to the gov. that the Russians 
were enticing away and protecting fugitive neophytes, buying stolen cattle, 
and invading Mexican rights in various ways. Id.,n. 319-20; Monterey, Arch., 
MS., i. 36. 

•" Vallejo, Informe Reserrado sobre Hosn, MS. The descriptive part lias 
already been utilized. April 28, 1833 (the date of Vallejo's leaving Ross), 
Kostromitinof to Figueroa. Dept. St. Pap.. MS., ii. 68. May loth, 17th, F. 
to v., acknowledging receipt of report, thanking him for his services, and ex- 
pressing his satisfaction at the good disposition of the Russian officials. 1 a- 
ile)0. Doc, MS., ii.l46, 311. This afiair is also recorded in Vallejo, Hist. Cat, 
MS., ii. 206-8, and Alvarado, Hist. Cal., MS., ii. 198-9. 

"July 14, 1833, Wrangell to Hartnell. He wanted to load 170 tons of 
salted meat and 14,000 lbs. of salt at S. F. free from anchorage dues. Vallfjo, 
Doc, MS., xxxi. 21. Aug. 3d, H. to Guerra. Guerra, Doc, MS., v. 104. 
Au". 1 7th, somebody at S. Diego to Figueroa, arguing against the exemption dues. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Cust.-II., MS., ii. 20-2. Sept. 6th, H. to 
■\V. Memorandum of cargo shipped on the Baikal and of another to be sent 
.on nest vessel. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxi. 40. 


Russians liad grievously wronged the Californians by 
killing otter illegally, by engaging in contraband trade, 
and by even taking possession of the Santa Bdrbara 
Islands. Other foreigners had certainly done tliese 
things, but his people never, protested the baron; 
they had always conformed strictly to the laws, and 
had always refused, greatly to their own loss, to enter 
into contracts with less scrupulous foreigners who 
wished to hunt otter in defiance of the Californians. 
He must have smiled as he wrote these statements 
with a knowledge that they were but remotely founded 
on truth; but the politic Figueroa, equally aware of 
the falsehood, fully confirmed all the baron's asser- 
tions, and exonerated the Russians from every suspi- 
cion of ever having given the Californians grounds for 

The Russian annals of 1834-9, so far as actual oc- 
currences in California are concerned, may be briefly 
disposed of. The vessels came regularly to San Fran- 
cisco, generally securing without much trouble a cargo 
of provisions ; though there were occasional misunder- 
standings on minor points of revenue, as there were 
now and then complaints on other matters of slight 
importance." In 1836 JNIanager Kostromitinof was 

"July 24, 1833, W. to F. Dec. 23(1, F.'s reply. S!. Pap., Sac., MS., x. 
84-7; xix. 15-18; Zavalishiii, Delo o Koloniy Rosa, 10-12. 

1' Jan. 14, 1834, Vallejo complains that 3 men went without permits to 
Ross. This is forbidden by Figueroa. Dcpt. St. Pap., MS., iii. 141. Docu- 
ments of different dates in 1834-6, showing troubles about duties on goods 
brought to S. F. Bay on lighters, one of which craft was seized with its cargo 
by orders of Angel Ramirez. Pinto, Doc, MS., i. 115, 118, 167-71, 225-6, 
229. Alvarado, Hist. Cal., MS., iii. 33-4, complains that the Satiyomi were 
fonnd to be armed with weapons bought at Ross. 1836, no intercourse with 
Ross or selling of cattle or liides without a specific document from the co- 
manilnnte at Sonoma. Vallr-jo, Doc, MS., iii. 100, etc. Sept. 11, 1836, Kos- 
tromitinof asks for a pass for a lighter to touch at S. F. Id., iii. 235. Tikh- 
mincl, hlor. Obosranie, i. 346-7, tells us that in 1835 the shipment of 
breadstuffs was only one third of the requirements, owing to a failure of crops; 
and in 183G they had to go to Chili again for a supply; but later enough was 
again obtained each year in Cal. Feb, 24, 18.38, C'apt. S. Vallejo sent to Ross 
to bring back persons who had gone there without permits. Vallejo, Doc, 
M.S., V. .'?2-3. The gov. of the colonies expected at Ross in Aug. 1838. Va- 
llejo hopes to meet him. Id., V. 138. 1839, minor matters of commerce and 
revenue. Pinto, Doc, MS., i. 243-5; Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., iu. 1, 3, 5; 


succeeded by Alexander Rotchef, who is spoken of in 
complimentary terms by all who met him, as a gen- 
tleman of courteous manners and of much administra- 
tive ability. The ex-manager now seems to have suc- 
ceeded Hartnell as active agent of the company at 
San Francisco, where he spent much of his time for 
several years." He obtained, apparently from Chico, 
but possibly from Figueroa just before that ruler's 
death, permission to erect a warehouse for the com- 
pany's use on any site which he might select. With 
Captain Richardson's consent, he decided to build at 
Sauzalito, on what was known as the Puerto de 
Balleneros, or "Whalers' Harbor. Before any use was 
made of the concession, however, the diputacion took 
up the matter, deciding that the governor had no 
power to grant such a privilege, and that it was not 
expedient to allow a foreign company to secure such 
a foothold in a Mexican port. Accordingly Gutierrez 
issued an order in September that no buildings should 
be erected, though grain might be collected at Sauza- 
lito for that one year.^° Subsequently, in 1839, Rotchef 
petitioned for the privilege of building a warehouse at 
Yerba Buena, next to Leese's place; but I have no 
record of the result. ^^ 

During this period Sonoma was founded as a pueblo; 
and several citizens, chiefly of foreign birth, were per- 
mitted to occupy ranches on the northern frontier, 
all with a view, among other objects, to check the 

Jd., Ben. Mil., Iv. 16. April 1839, nails and copper for repairs to the CaJi- 
fornia. VaVejo, Doc, MS. , vi. 365. May, Alvarado authoVizes V. to sell the 
Bussians 300 heifers. It won't do to encourage trade between them and the 
rajjcheros. Id., vii. .S3. 

" Tikhmenef, Istor. Obosranie, i. 345-6. 

'"June 30, 1836, Vallejo approves the scheme. Vallejo, Doc, MS., iii. 
121. July 7th, Aug. 30th, action of the dip. Lep. Bee, MS., iii. 25-6. Sept. 
12th, Gutierrez's order. Vidlrjo, Doc, MS., iii. 236. Alvarado, Cal., 
MS., iii. 107-10, says Kostroniitinof came to Monterey to try and change his 
mind as one of the strongest opponents; but he refused to favor his plan, 
though he offered to advocate a grant of the privilege to K. or any Russian 
who would become a Mexican citizen. 

'«May 10, 1839, Rotclief to gov. St. Pap., Miss, and Colon., MS., ii. 
326-8. The building was to revert to the Cal. govt after 10 years; and might 
meanwhile be used by that gort free of charge for storage. Rotchef iuso 
wished pennission to pay anchorage dues at S. F. rather than Monterey. 


apprehended advance of the Russians. In 1837 a 
Mexican soldier named Miramontes is said to have 
brought from Ross to Sonoma the small-pox, which 
caused great ravages among the natives. Again in 
1839 Vallejo warned the Mexican government of dan- 
ger from the Russians, which might be averted only 
by an increase of the force at Sonoma.^' In 1837 
Ross was visited by Slacum, and in 1839 by Laplace, 
each of whom published a description of the establish- 
ment, the latter devoting much space to the subject. 

Meanwhile Governor Wrangell became more and 
more firmly convinced that unless his company and 
nation could obtain the country eastward to the Sac- 
ramento and southward to San Francisco Bay, the 
original possession on the coast, even if its confirma- 
tion could be secured from Mexico, was not worth 
keeping. ^^ Moreover, this extension must be effected 
without delay, since the most favorable opportunities 
had already passed, and the influx of settlers, native 
and foreign, was daily lessening the chances of success. 
It does not appear that there was any thought of oc- 
cupying the territory against the will of the Califoi'- 
nians; indeed, such a step would have excited strong 
opposition from foreign powers as well as from Mex- 
ico, and would have been practicable only with the 
direct national support of Russia, a support that could 
not be counted on, because the imperial government 
had never manifested anything but indifference re- 
specting the acquisition of territorial possessions in 

Baron Wrangell's hope and purpose — and there is 
no evidence that there was any element of opposition 
among the officers of the companj- either at Sitka or 
Ross— was to conciliate still further the good-will of 

'■Feb. 6, 1S39, Vallejo to min. of war. Vallejo, Doc, MS., ri. 21S. 
'* According to Zavalishin the baron repeated these views in hia report of 
April 10, 1S33. This author says that Count Nordvinof also entertained the 


the already friendly Californians, a work in which he 
believed himself to have made much progress in his 
correspondence with Figueroa, not knowing the man. 
He desired further to present in a strong light, as the 
Russians had been doing for years, the danger of en- 
croachment b}' other foreigners, especially the Amer- 
icans; also the marked contrast between the past 
conduct of his people and those of other nations, and 
the manifest advantage of preferring such friendly and 
orderly neighbors rather than the turbulent horde of 
adventurers who were sure to get possession of the 
northern frontier.'^ He would like to so far interest 
the court of St Petersburg in his scheme as to bring 
about diplomatic negotiations, and a recognition of 
Mexican independence; and finally, he wished to go in 
person to Mexico, to secure from the authorities of 
the republic a concession or sale of the desired terri- 
tory. The plan was the best that could have been 
devised under the circumstances. How much confi- 
dence the author really had in its success we have no 
means of knowing. 

The company having approved Wrangell's plan, and 
agreed to pay for the establishments of San Rafael 
and Sonoma in case Mexico would consent to cede 
the territoryj^" the baron resigned his position as gov- 
ernor of the Amei-ican colonies, and obtained permis- 
sion to return to Russia by way of California and 
Mexico,-^ with authority to represent the colonial 
government in negotiations with the republic. His 
instructions, which came in 1835, were disappointing. 
The emperor, while desiring the continuance of friendly 

"In the report of April 28, 1834, according to Zavalishin, the coming of a 
band of 1G3 armed men with their wives and children is mentioned. The ori- 
gin of this rumor is not known. In a report of April 10th (?), Wrangell states 
that the only obstacle to the extension of Ross is the envy of foreigners, who 
will intrigue to secui-e the opposition of lilexico. Zavalishin, Delo o Koloiiiij 
Ross, MS., 8-10, 14. 

^"Report of April 13, 1834, from head office. Zavalishin, Ddo o Koloniy 
Jios.'<, MS., 2S-9. 

^'Nov. 19, 1834, Wrangell to Figueroa, announcing his purpose to visit,, 
Mexico at the end of his term of office, and asking for information about 
route, etc. St. Pap., Miss, and Colon., MS., ii. 320. 


relations, would not agree to recognize Mexican in- 
dependence, but merely allowed Wrangell as a rep- 
resentative of the company to negotiate a commercial 
treaty providing for a free entree of all ports, collec- 
tion of duties only on goods actually sold, release from 
anchorage dues, free exportation of salt, hunting on 
shares, and permission to take turtles and obtain 
woods on the coast — terms all for the advantage of 
the Russians, without apparent recompense to the 
Californians. He was also empowered to ascertain if 
Mexico would confirm the old possessions at Ross and 
Bodega, if there was any hope of acquiring the new 
territory desired, and if so, on what conditions and at 
what expense. Possibly he might hold out a hope of 
future recognition, though he could not promise it. 
His enthusiasm must have been great indeed if it sur- 
vived these instructions.^- 

With his instructions there came a successor to 
Wrangell in the person of Ivan Kuprianof;^ and the 
ex-governor sailed at once on his mission. He ar- 
rived at Monterey on the Sitka in December 1835.-* 
Here he was greatly disappointed at learning the 
death of Figueroa, on whose assistance he had counted, 
especially in the furnishing of letters to prominent 
men in Mexico. Of his negotiations with other Cal- 
ifornians at this time we have no record. He sailed 
early in January 1836 for San Bias, where he had 
some trouble with local officials, who declared his 
passport invalid; but by the aid of the English con- 
sul, Barron, a pass was obtained,"^ and Wrangell pro- 

2^ Polechiii, Seleme JRoss, 1&-19; Tihhmiwf, Istor. Obos., i. 362-4. The 
former does not imply that Wrangell had any right even to speak of the rec- 
ognition of Mexico as a possibility. 

'''Nov. 20, 1835, Knprianof to Figueroa, announcing his accession and de- 
sire for a continuance of friendly relations. St. Pop., 3Iim. and Colon., ilS., 
ii. 321. Similar note to Gov. Chico and the latter's very courteous reply. 
Date not clear. Id. 

'*Tlie only definite mention of his arrival that I have found, except iu 
Russian wi-iters, is in Dana's Two Yearn before the Mast, 271-2. Dana found 
the vessel and e.x-gov. at Monterey ou Dec. 27th; and the latter kindly offered 
to take New-Year's letters from the Yankee sailors, to be forwarded from 
Mexico to Boston, where they arrived safely. 

^° Zavalishin, beio o Koloniy lioss, MS., 12, represents the English as hav- 


ceeded to Mexico. Here with some difficulty he ob- 
tained an interview with Vice-president Barragan, 
and after the latter's death with other high officials. 
Naturally, under the circumstances, he met with 
no encouragement, the Mexican authorities being of 
course unwilling to treat with a man who had no 
credentials as a representative of his government. To 
use substantially the words of Wrangell in his report 
to the company, "the Mexican republic has been 
formall}' recognized by England, France, and other 
powers; her natural pride is increased by diplomatic 
correspondence, and she is not disposed to treat for 
acknowledgment with powers that do not meet her 
half-way. Moreover, foreign representatives work 
constantly against the interests of their commercial 
rivals, especially Russia. Hence it is not strange that 
Mexico not only will not listen to propositions from 
a mere commercial company, but would be offended 
if such propositions were made without diplomatic 

The onl}'- result obtained seems to have been a semi- 
official assurance that Mexico, desiring friendly rela- 
tions, would favor a commercial treaty if properly 
negotiated by duly accredited agents of the two gov- 
ernments.^" Possibly some encouragement was given 
verbally that a concession of the original possessions 
at Ross might be obtained; but evidently an extension 
of territory, if proposed at all, was considered with no 
favor.^^ The whole subject was then referred to the 

ing been in these years very favorable to tbe Russian scheme, though of 
course from interested motives. 

^^PotecMn, Selm!e Jloss, 19. 

*' TikhmiSuef, Istor. Obos., i. 364, says that a written communication to 
this effect was carried to St Petersburg by Wrangell. 

'■'"In 1S3G Ivuprianof rejiorted the coming of American immigrants to oc- 
cniiy farms near Ross, thus threatening to deprive the company of all chance 
of extending their lands. The reply from the general administration, founded 
on the counsels of the imperial vice-chancellor, was the advice not to think of 
extension, but only of holding the land already occupied. Tikhminef, htor. 
Obos., i. 3G5. Scala, Influence de Vcmcienne Comptoir Ausse, has something to 
siiy about the events and negotiations of these times; but his statements arc so 
absurdly inaccurate as to merit no attention. In June 1S37, reports were sent 
to St Petersburg of the continued encroachments of foreigners and their part 
in the revolution of 1836. ZavcUishin, Delo o Koloniy Ross, MS., 14-15. 


Mexican minister at London, who was instructed to 
consider such propositions as might be made by repre- 
sentatives of the tsar. No such propositions were 
ever made, as the government on the receipt of Wran- 
gell's report at St Petersburg simply decided to take 
no further steps in the matter. The negotiations liad 
attracted but little attention ; yet I find some evidence 
of rumors growing out of them which reached Califor- 
nia and the Hawaiian Islands.^' 

With the failure of Wrangell's mission, every mo- 
tive for retaining possession of Ross disappeared. 
Accordingly the company decided to abandon it. I 
give the substance of the council's report rendered to 
the minister of finance at the end of 1838, or early in 
1839, as follows: The accounts of the company show 
expenses in 1825-9 to have been 45,000 roubles per 
year, while the annual product, almost exclusively 
from furs, was 22,000 roubles. In 1837 expenses had 
increased to 72,000 roubles, and receipts had fallen to 
8,000 roubles. As otter-hunting failed, the company 
had a hope of acquiring lands for agricultural and 
stock-raising purposes. This hope being lost, there 
is no motive for further occupation. Politically, the 
possession has no importance, since "it is not sup- 
ported by any formal acts or by the acknowledg- 
ment of any other power;" neither has it any strategic 

^'In May or June 1S37, Luis Castillo Negrete wrote to Zamorano that the 
tsar was negotiating for the purchase of jMontcrcy and San Francisco, with 
all the country from 3.')° to 42°. This news came via Madrid. Zamorano to 
Alvaiado in August. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxii. 106; Id., Hist. Cal., MS., iii. 
270-7. March 12, 1S37, the U. S. consul at Honolulu sent to Washington a 
slight sketch of the Russian establishment, with the information that the Cal- 
ifornians in revolution against Mexico had applied to the Russians for aid, 
which would probably be given on the condition of pel-mission in case of suc- 
cess to extend their limits to S. F. Bay. This patriotic American thought 
liis govt ought to know 'by what right the subjects of so powerful an empire 
as Russia, undoubtedly under the sanction of the emperor, have formed a set- 
tlement on the very borders of its territory, if not within the limit of what 
ought to be in justice its own possession.' Original lilotter in Savaf/e, Doc, 
MS., ii. 17t-6. Zavalishia, Delo o Koloniy Boss, MS., 31-3, declares that 
negotiations with Mexico were useless, because, 1st, In them her right was 
tacitly acknowledged, not only to Cal., but to New Albion; 2d, Nothing that 
could be proposed had any value to Mexico; .3d, Thecompany and not the govt 
was treating; and, 4th, If it came to a purchase, the U. S. could easily outbid 
the company. 


ge, because even if any other power sliould 
care to hold such an inaccessible rock as Ross, its oc- 
cupation could not jwssibly harm any Russian estab- 
lishment. Therefore the council has determined to 
abandon so useless and expensive a possession, dividing 
the servants and all movable property among other 
posts of the colonies, and selling or exchanging for 
wheat in California such property as cannot be con- 
veniently removed. This determination received the 
imperial sanction April 15, 1839.^" 

Manager Rotchef at Ross heard of the determina- 
tion to abandon the establishment perhaps at the end 
of 1839, and certainly earl}'- in 1840, during which 
year he made some preparations for departure, send- 
ing a full cargo and thirty-three persons of the colony 
to Sitka on the Elena.^^ At a conference between 
Kuprianof and Douglas of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, held at Sitka in April, a proposition was made 
to sell the Ross establishment for $30,000. "Of 
course," writes Douglas in his journal, "they cannot 
sell the soil, but merely the improvements, which we 
can hold only through a native. "An answer was to be 
given in the autumn, after consultation with Mc- 
Loughlin; and as nothing more is heard of the matter, 
I suppose tlie English company decided that the pur- 
chase was not advisable — very likely fearing to dis- 
please the Californiaiis, and to cause troublesome 
complications with the United States.^- This nego- 

^"Potechin, Selenie Ross, 19-21; Tihhmfnef, Istor. Obos., i. 365-6. A note 
of M. Pinart makes the date of the council's report March 20, 1839. Cronise, 
^'a«. Wealth of Gal, 38, gravely assures us that iu 1835 the British govt 
called upon the U. S. to insist upon the removal of the Russians under the 
treaty of 1824; and it was in compliance with the request of the U. S. 
that Ross was abandoned in 1841 ! Bidwell, Cal., MS., 94-6, had an idea 
that the colony was withdrawn on account of the charter being about to ex- 

" Etholin's letter of Sept. 9, 1840. The Elena had arrived at New Arch- 
angel on Sept. 3d. 

'>'- Donijlas' Jonrmit, M.S., 16. About this time it seems that some ar- 
rangement was made for tlie bringing of supplies to Sitka iu the vessels of the 
H. B. Co. to avoid the necessity of sending Russian vessels to Cal. Tikhmincf, 
Istor. Obos., i. 347; Simpson's Narr., 269-70. 


tiatiou having failed, in November the company noti- 
fied Alvarado of their intention to quit Ross, and 
proposed that he should buy the property. The gov- 
ernor asked for further information respecting the 
nature of the property ofiered, and made haste to in- 
form the Mexican government of the impending 
change.^* A correspondence, more bulky than impor- 
tant or interesting, on the coming of the Baikal to 
San Francisco for grain in March, and the non-pay- 
ment of tonnage dues by the Nikolai in October at the 
same port,'* is the only other item of local annals to bo 
mentioned in this year, except the somewhat exciting 
affair to be now narrated. 

Josiah Spalding, master of the American ship 
Lausanne, coming down from the Columbia in July, 
conceived the brilliant idea that as Bodega was a free 
port belonging to Russia, he might land his passen- 
gers there, and perhaps accomplish something in the 
way of trade, without paying anchorage dues or other 
duties. In the past, it would seem that the Russians 
had never permitted such operations, or at least no 
charges to that effect had ever been made; even on 
this occasion there is some evidence that Manager 
Rotchef told Spalding that he must not trade or go 
by land to San Francisco as he wished.^^ But act- 
ing very carelessly if not with intentional disregard 
of his duties, Rotchef set out for San Francisco and 
Monterey, leaving the Lausanne at Bodega, and the 
captain, crew, and passengers free to do as they 

'3 Dec. 10, 1840, Jimeno Casariu to min. of int., with contents of Kupvi.i- 
nofs note of Nov. 23d, from S. F. Dept. Eec, MS., xi. 69-70. Kuprianof's 
note of Nov. 23d, in Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., ii. 34-5. Dec. IStli, 
Jimeno to Kostromitinof, in reply to a note of the latter proposing the sale. 
Valkjo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 133. 

^'P!nlo, Doc, MS., i. 250-2, 297-9, 315-16,319, 323-4, 329-30; Dept. St. 
Pnp..l;cn. Mil, MS., Iv. 12-15; ValUjo, i)oc., MS., ix. 289. Simpson, Narr., 
301.;, aflhins that Timothy Murphy and Padre Quijas went to Eoss for brandj', 
or Ijnllijck':, or something, 'against all rule and precedent,' and this coming 
to Vallcjus cars, he had them lodged in the calaboose. 

^■'So Kotchef reported to EthoUn, as the latter states in his letter of Sept. 
9th, and Alf. Pina in his letter of July 20th from Bodega says that Kotchef 
had not permitted the caiitain to accompany him to S. F. Valkjo, Doc, 
MS., hi. 191. 


pleased, as there was no Russian guard or ofScer 
nearer than Ross. Then Spalding also started for 
San Francisco, obtaining the services of Mcintosh 
as a guide. Four of the passengers went to Sonoma 
to ask Vallejo for passports which should enable them 
to remain in the country. Vallejo was naturally 
startled at the sudden appearance of these armed for- 
eigners, with the news that Bodega was practically 
abandoned by the Russians, and that a foreign vessel 
was lying there free from all restrictions in respect of 
contraband trade, or of landing passengers. He imme- 
diately despatched Alferez Ldzaro Piua and a guard 
of soldiers to Bodega, with instructions to reembark 
all persons who had landed, and to enjoin upon those 
in charge of the vessel to land no goods on penalty 
of being treated as smugglers, Monterey being the 
only port open to foreign trade. Piha was to remain 
at his post, prevent all traffic and intercourse, keep 
a strict watch, and report. Subsequently he vras 
directed to collect tonnage dues on the Lausanne at 
the rate of $1.50 per ton.^^ 

Spalding, accompanied by several persons from San 
Francisco who were travelling without pass[)orts, 
called at Sonoma on his return to Bodega. His com- 
panions were not allowed to proceed ; and the captain 
was called upon by A^allejo to pa}' his tonnage dues. 
He declined to do so, on the ground that Bodega was 
a free port, belonging to Russia; but after discussion 
he agreed to pay the demand if it should be decided 
by the proper authorities to be a lawful one. He was 
then allowed to depart, with an order to Pina to re- 
turn to Sonoma as soon as the vessel had sailed. As 
Spalding had cited the manager at Ross in confirma- 
tion of his claim that Bodega was a Russian port, 

"July 10, 1S40, the original instructions to Piua. Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 
183. One clause of this document Tvill receive special notice later. July 
19th, V. to Spalding, warning him that Bodega is not a port of entry, and 
holding him responsible for illegal trade, accordinj:! to the treaty between the 
U. S. and Me-uico. Id., Lx. 1S4. July23d, V. orders Piua to collect tonnage 
dues. Id., i.x. 191. 


Vallejo instructed Piila to .state clearly to Rotclief 
that Bodega belonged to Mexico, and in no sense 
to Russia, though the use of it by Russian vessels 
bad been tolerated; that the commander of Ross had 
no control over it except by permission from the Cal- 
ifornian government; and that he had no right to find 
it strange that Californian troops were stationed there, 
especially when he was in the habit of travelling in 
the country without asking permission and in disre- 
spect of the frontier authorities, of representing to 
visitors that Bodega was a free port, and of taking 
the liberty of permitting foreigners to enter the coun- 
try in defiance of law.''" 

Meanwhile Rotchef came back from Monterey, and 
was filled with wrath when he found the soldiers on 
guard, and read a copy, made by a subordinate in his 
absence, of Vallejo's instructions to Pifia. He was 
violent and insulting in his anger. He raised the 
Russian flag, defying the Californians to pull it down, 
and offered his protection to some of the foreign pas- 
sengers, who went with him to Ross.*' Piua made no 
resistance, but reported to Vallejo. The latter sent a 
communication on the matter to Rotchef, and another 
to be forwarded to the governor at Sitka. Rotchef 
refused to receive the documents, declaring that he 
would have no intercourse with a man who had so 
grievously insulted him. Vallejo subsequently issued 
an order forbidding Rotchef or any of his men to travel 
in the country without licenses.*' The Lausanne sailed 
away about July 2Gth, leaving five or six foreigners, 
who were aided by the Russians to reach the Sacra- 
mento. Piua, by Vallejo's orders, did not attempt to 

"July 24-5, 1S40, Spalding's statement; and Vallejo's orders to Piii.a. 
ValUjo, Doc, MS., ix. 193-7. 

'^ Wiggins, one of these men. says — and the statement has been widely cir- 
culated— tliat PiOtcIief ordered the soldiers to dep-irt or be shot. This is in 
itself iniproiiablc, and any such occurrence would of certainty have been men- 
tioned in the later correspondence. 

''The refusal of Rotchef to receive the official communications rests on 
Vallejo's statements later in the year; and the order forbidding travel seems 
not to have been issued until Nov. 4th, according to a blotter copy in ValUjo, 
Doc, MS., i.x. 303. 


interfere beyond warning Rotclief that he would be 
held responsible for the entrance of the men/'' 

In reporting the affair to his superior at Sitka, Rot- 
chef stated thatVallejo had sent an armed force with 
impertinent instructions, including one to arrest the 
manager himself and send him to Sonoma, which in- 
sult to the national honor caused him to send away 
the Californian force at once.*^ It was the order for 
his ow^n arrest that particularly angered the Russian 
commander. Otherwise he himself had been the one 
at fault, and Vallejo had in no respect transcended his 
powers or failed in courtesy. But at an order of ar- 
rest, Rotchef had reason to be angry; for though 
Valkvjo had perhaps the legal right to arrest him for 
proper cause, yet to have done so under the circum- 
stances would have been a most impolitic, discour- 
teous, and unjustifiable act. But Vallejo certainly 
never intended to send, and probably never did send, 
such an order, as we shall see. 

At the end of October, Ex-governor Kuprianof, re- 
tiring from his office and homeward bound on the 
Nikolai, arrived at San Francisco,^^ where he remained 
a month, giving his attention chiefly to an investiga- 
tion of the Lausanne affair. Presumably his object 
was to reconcile Vallejo and Rotchef, since, under ex- 
isting circumstances, when the abandonment of Ross 
had been decided on, it is hard to understand why 
he should have desired a quarrel. He first stated his 
business through a letter from Kosti'oraitinof, and Va- 
llejo replied with a concise statement of his acts, and 
those of Rotchef, in July. Kuprianof next wrote 
him.self, in courteous terms, inviting Vallejo to come 
to San Francisco for a personal conference, hinting 
mysteriously at certain grave measures to be taken 

"July 24tli-25th, Vallejo to Pina. Vcdlejo, Doc, MS., Lx. 195, 198-0. 

"Etholin's letter of Sept. 9, 1840, in Ems. Amer. Mat., MS., vol. i. 
Etholin, who succeeded Kuprianof, says he has sent a small reenforcemcnt to 
the garrison, and apprehends no further trouble from Vallejo. 

"Pinto, Doc, MS., i. 240-50; Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 296; xxxiii. Uo; 
Dept. St. Pap., Ben.. Mil., MS., Iv. 1^. 


unless the matter should be cleared up. The general's 
answer, equally courteous and much more frank, was 
an invitation to come or send an agent to Sonoma, 
which place his duties would not permit him to leave. 
He also defended his course at some length, calling 
attention particularly to the general state of alarm in 
which the country had been, early in the year, on ac- 
count of the Graham affair. He could not see how 
any serious results could follow a mere performance 
of duty. He expressed clearly the position that no 
nation but Mexico had any authority at Bodega, 
offered every facility for arriving at the exact truth, 
and hoped that Rotchef would be duly reprimanded for 
his misdeeds. He declared, however, that the copy 
of his instructions made at Ross did not agree with 
the original; and suggested that the alterations, per- 
haps made designedly, might be to some extent the 
cause of the controversy.*^ 

Kuprianof now sent Kostromitinof to confer with 
Vallejo, declaring, however, his perfect confidence in 
the man who made the copy, and rather impolitely 
refusing to believe in any error. An examination re- 
vealed the fact that the copy was inaccurate in the 
very point that had chiefly excited the controversy, 
the order for Rotchef's arrest, the original not contain- 
ing any such instruction. Vallejo now wrote some- 
what sarcastically, and expressed his confidence that 
the Russians would hasten to make amends for their 
unjust criticism of his conduct. Kuprianof, however, 
chose to continue the controversy, still maintaining 
that the copyist had not erred designedly, even doubt- 
ing that he had erred at all, and insolently asking that 
the original be sent to him. He regarded the confer- 
ence as unsatisfactory on account of Kostromitinof s 
v/ant of familiarity with the Spanish language, ques- 
tioned Vallejo's veracity on several points, and even 

" Nov. 2, 1840, Kostromitinof to V.iUejo. Vallrjo, Doc, MS. , ix. ."500. V.'s 
reply of Nov. 4th. /rf.,ix.304. Nov. flth. lOth.Kuprianof to V. andreply. Id., 
ix. 305, 308. Some of the Russian official's lettei-s are the originals in French, 
and others translations into Spanish by a clerk. 


asserted that Bodega was a Russian port, over whicli 
the general had no authority. This brought out a 
forcible but dignified reply, dated November 25th, 
which terminated the correspondence, so far as it has 
been preserved." 

It is to be presumed that Rotchef's anger was ap- 
peased to a great extent, as he and Vallejo were on 
tolerably good terms during the next j'ear. The man- 
ager at Ross had been originally in the wrong, though 
justified in deeming himself insulted by the general's 
instructions as he understood them. Vallejo's course 
from the first was remarkably judicious and free from 
error; and in the war of words he won a signal vic- 
tory by his strong positions, and his uniformly frauk 
and dignified utterances. Kuprianof, though always 
protesting his desire to avoid discord, and though he 
had no apparent advantage to gain from a quarrel, 
was insolent from the first, and especially at the close 
of the correspondence. It is fair to say, however, 
that his suspicions, though it would have been more 
expedient and in better taste for him to conceal 
rather than express them, had a possible foundation 
in the very instructions that had caused the trouble, 
as is shown by the original of that document in my 
possession, and is more fully explained in the appended 

"Nov. 13th, 21st, KuprL-mof to Vallejo; Nov. IGth, 25th, V. to K.; Nov. 
22tl, 2.5th, K. to V. antl reply. Vallejo, Doc, MS., ix. 313, 316, 321-2, 32S. 

*^ A clause of the instructions reads, ' Si conio es factible el comandante de 
la factoria Eusa volviese con algunos comerciantes del puerto de San Fran- 
cisco (/o.s crossed out) regresard (d eslos interlined) A este pimto sino trajesen 
los pasaportes legales; pero de ninguna manera se los permitird embarcarse;' 
or ' If, as is likely, the Kussian commandant should return with some traders 
from S. Francisco, you will cause (Ihfin erased and the latter interlined) to 
turn back to this place unless they have legal passports; but by no means 
\vill you permit them to embark.' Now the exact changes made in the Boss 
copy are not known; but Kuprianof may have had his suspicions aroused 
when on questioning Kostromitinof he heard of interlineations in the original. 
It is certain, both from internal evidence in the instructions and from the 
circumstances under which they were -vvritten, that it was not Kotclicf but his 
companions who were to be sent to Sonoma; and there is no good reason to 
doubt that the verbal changes were introduced at the time of writing to 
make the meaning clear, and not later; especially as at a later date it would 
have been equally easy and honorable, and much more effective, to rewrite 
tiio whole document. Moreover, the document in my possession may have 


The intention of the Russians to abandon Ross and 
their wish to sell their property there had, as we have 
seen, been announced to Alvarado, and by him to the 
Mexican government, before the end of 1840. In 
January 1841, Vallejo, in reporting to the minister of 
war his controversy with Rotchef and Kuprianof, 
mentioned the proposed abandonment, taking more 
credit to himself than the facts could justify, as a re- 
sult of that controversy. The Russians had consulted 
him as to their power to sell the buildings as well as 
live-stock to a private person, and had been told that 
"the nation had the first right," and would have to be 
consulted. The fear that impelled him at that time 
to answer thus cautiously was that some foreigner 
from tlie Columbia or elsewhere might outbid any 
citizen of California, and thus raise a question of sov- 
ereignty, which might prove troublesome in the future 
to Mexican interests. Vallejo also urged the govern- 
ment to furnish a garrison, and authorize the planting 
of a colony at the abandoned post.*" In February, 
however, Kostromitinof, representing the company, 
proposed to sell the property to Vallejo himself for 
$30,000, payable half in money or bills of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, and half in produce delivered at 
Yerba Buena. The general expressed a willingness 
to make the purchase, but could not promise a defi- 
nite decision on the subject before July or August.*'' 
Pending the decision, the Russian agent seems to have 
entered, perhaps secretly, into negotiations with John 

been kept as a blotter, and a clean copy have been given to Pifia; ■which 
would not only remove all grounds for suspicion, but all the raison d'etre of 
this note. 

*5Jan. 1, 1841, V. to min. of war. Two communications. Vallejo, Dsc, 
MS., X. 2-3. Jan. 14th, V. to Virmond, a letter in which he openly claims, 
as he clearly implied in that to the govt, that the abandonment had resulted 
from his victory over Kuprianof. Id., x. 42. 

"Feb. 10, 1S41, Kostromitinof to V., and reply of Feb. 19th. Vallejo, 
Doc, MS., X. GO, G2. The property named included houses, mills, tannery, 
live-stock, and implements; but there is nothing said of land. Vallejo re- 
quires a delay iu order to arrange about the H. B. Co. drafts; also wants to 
know ivhen the produce must be dclivcreJ. He doubtless also hoped to hear 
from Jlexico, and wished to learn whether' tb£ Russians had any right to soU 
the buihlin,'5s. 

Hist. Cal., Vol. IV. 12 


A. Sutter, who at that time was not disposed to buy 
anything but the movable property.*^ Meanwhile a 
reply came from Mexico, though by no means a satis- 
factory one; since the government — evidently with 
some kind of an idea that the Russian officials had 
been frightened away, leaving a flourishing settle- 
ment to be taken jiossession of by the Californians — 
simply sent useless instructions about the details of 
occupation and form of government to be established.*^ 
In Jul}' Kostromitinof returned from Sitka, and nego- 
tiations were recommenced. Alvarado was urged to 
come to Sonoma, but declined ; though he advised Va- 
llejo that in the absence of instructions from JMexico 
the Russians had no right to dispose of the real es- 
tate. An elaborate inventory of the property offered 
for sale at $30,000 was made out, but Vallejo's best 
offer seems to have been $9,000 for the live-stock 
alone. ^^ 

Kostromitinof was greatly disappointed at his fail- 
ure to close a bargain with Vallejo, a failure which he 
attributed, doubtless with much reason, to Alvarado's 

*' July 26, 1841, Rotchcf to Sutter. Says Kostromitinof has decided that 
his offer cannot be accepted, since he wishes to buy only the ca,ttle, and not 
the real estate, the agent having found purchasers for houses, ranches, and 
cattle. Translation, from what source not stated, in Veritas, Examiimtio>i of 
the Hiiss. Claim, p. 9. Aug. 10th, Sutter to Suilol. 'The Russians have found 
purchasers for their houses and fai-ms. This shows the character of the Rus- 
sians. They said very haughtily that they would rather burn their houses 
than turn them over to a native, and-above all to Vallejo, who had hisulted 
the Russian flag, etc.; and now for some $1,000 more they are not ashamed 
to make just such an arrangement. Only Russians could act like that. ' Sutter- 
Suiiol C'orri'sp., MS., S. 

*' March 11, 1841, sup. govt order, received in Cal. June 21st, and sent to 
Vallejo July 2d. Sup. Govt St. Pa})., MS., xvi. 10-18; Di-pt. St. Pap., MS., 
iv. m-, Dcpt. Pec, MS., xii. .35, 41; Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 193; xxxiii. 215. 

°°July 17, 1S41, Kostromitinof at Bodega. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 205. 
July 27th, Vallejo to Alvarado. Says some of the Russians' terms are im- 
pertinent, some absui-d, and most of them inadmissible. Id., x. 227, 230; 
Dept. St. Pcq}., MS., V. 62. July 29th, A. to V. Val/ejo, Doc, MS., x. 236. 
it was while the negotiations were pending that V. received A. 's letter com- 
miinioating the despatch from Mexico. The inventory, Pass, Propiiesta de 
Venta, MS., has been given so far as the real estate is concerned iu chap, 
xxviii. of vol. ii. There was besides a lot of implements; and of live-stock 
there were 1,700 cattle, 940 horses, and 900 sheep. The inventory contains 
r.lso the terms of the proposed sale. In Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 228, is what 
seems to be Vallejo's olier of 89,000 for the live-stock. It is an unsigned and 
undated form of agreement. 


influence, and he went to Monterey to try and change 
the governor's mind, but in vain. Alvarado declared 
that the buildings being erected on Mexican soil 
with material produced on that soil could not be 
sold by a foreign company, and insisted that the 
Russians ought to leave the structures gratis for 
the use of Mexico. Indeed, he had formed the 
idea, which Vallej(j shared, that no other customer 
could be found; and his only fear was, as he stated in 
a private letter, that the improvements would be 
burned to keep them from falling into Californian 
hands. But Kostromitinof, ironically asking if the 
comandante general had authority to receive a gift 
without obtaining the consent of congress, simply re- 
newed his negotiations with Sutter.^^ 

Sutter, like Vallejo, had at first wished to purchase 
the live-stock only; but he would perhaps have 
bought anything at any price if it could be obtained 
on credit; at any rate, after a brief hesitation a bar- 
gain was made in September.^- The formal contract 
was signed by Kostromitinof and Sutter in the office 
of the sub-prefect at San Francisco, with Vioget and 
Leese as witnesses, December 13th. By its terms 
Sutter was put in possession of all the property at 
Ross and Bodega, except the land, as specified in 
the annexed inventory, and was to pay for it in four 

"Aug. 11, 1841, VaUejo to Alrarado; replies of Aug. Mtli, 18th. Va- 
Ihjo, Doc, MS., ix. 249; 3f. 246-8; xxxiii. 228. Aug. 27th, 28th, Kostromiti- 
nof to v. and reply, terminating the negotiations. /(/., x. 231-2; Vallejo, 
JJist. Cat, MS., iv. 212-27. 

" Hittell, Hist. S. Fran., 89, states that Jacob P. Leese offered $20,000 
for the property: .?5,000 in cash, and S5,000 annually for 3 years; but Sutter's 
offer for §30,000 was preferred. Sept. 1st, Sutter to Suuol. ' The Russians 
have not been able to make any an-angement with Vallejo for the sale of their 
projierty. They have recommenced negotiations with me; but I intend to hold 
off for the present.' ISutter-Sin'iol Con-f.y).,'MS., 10. In his i>;'ary, 3, Sutter 
says that Rotchef arrived at his fort Sept. 4th, with whom he went by water 
to Ross and concluded the bargain for §30,000, ' which has been paid,' thus 
proving the so-called diary to have been written after 1850. Sept. 2Sth, he 
sent men to Ross to di-ive the live-stock, 100 animals out of 2,000 being lost 
in crossing the river. Wilkes, jVfoT. , v. 204, notes the an-ival of the Rus- 
sians on or just before Sept. 4th. Sept. 19th, Sutter to Vallejo. Has bought 
all the property, and asks permission for the passage of his men across the 
frontier to transfer the movable part of the purchase. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 


yearly instalments, beginning September 1,1842. The 
lirst and second payments were to be of $5,000 eacli, 
and the others of $10,000; the first three were to be 
in produce, chiefly wheat, delivered at San Francisco 
free of duties and tonnage; and the fourth was to be 
in money. The establishment at New Helvetia and 
the property at Bodega and the two ranches of 
Khlebnikof and Tschernich, which property was to 
be left intact in possession of the company's agents, 
were pledged as guaranties for the payment. '^^ It 
would seem that Alvarado, while insisting that the 
land did not belong to the company and could not be 
sold, had yielded his point about the buildings, per- 
haps in the belief that no purchaser could be found ; 
lor the Russians say that the contract was approved 
by the Californian government, and it is certain that 
there was no official disapproval of its terms.^* 

Alvarado and Vallejo in later years are inclined to 
accuse Sutter of having acted dishonorably toward 
them in making the purchase; but there is no evi- 
dence that they were offended at the time.^^ The 
land itself had of course no special value at a time 
when much better land was to be had for the asking ; 

^' Boss, Conirat de Vente, IS4I, !MS. The document is in French, and is a 
copy of a copy certified by S. F. Popoff. It contains 11 articles. Spanish 
translation, in Dept. St. Pap., MS., vi. 108-9. Rossi, Sourenirs d'un Voyage, 
21'2-13, writing in 1864, speaks of this document, which he says was obtained 
by the American minister from the Russian archives, and which he, Rossi, 
translated at Sta Rosa. The Inventory does not appear. 

'^Deo. 19, 1841, Kostromitinof writes to Alvarado that he has sold the 
property as before proposed and not objected to by the gov., the contract be- 
ing legally ratified in the S. F. juzrjado; and he quotes in full art. 9, by which 
New Helvetia and other property are mortgaged. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 
251. Tikhm(5nef, Istor. Obos., i. 36G, says the payment of the §30,000 was 
guaranteed by the Mexican govt, which was of course not literally true. In 
his report to the sup. govt, dated Jan. 11, 1842, Alvarado said in substance: 
' When I learned that Ross was to be abandoned and the property sold, I 
notified tlie govt, and was directed merely to occupy the place when evacu- 
ated. The Russian agent proposed to sell the property to the nation, which 
proposition I was not authorized to accept; or to sell it to a private individ- 
ual, which I could not prevent, though always insisting that the land be- 
longed to the nation. I have received the contract of sale to Sutter. ' Dept. 
liec., MS., xiii. 8-10. 

^Alvarado, Hist. Cal, MS., iv. 229-35. He says Sutter did an ungeutle- 
m,-in!y, contemptible trick, buying property v.-hich the Russians were about 
to give to, parties to whom they were greatly indebted. 


bnt the wily Sutter, perhaps thinking it miglxt be of 
vakie in the future, sought some pretext for a title. 
He obtained from Manager Rotchef a certificate of 
transfer dated one day earlier than the contract, in 
which document the commander, having no responsi- 
bility, and feeling not very kindly toward the Cali- 
fornian rulers, was easily Induced to include the lands 
as well as other property, which he solemnly certified 
to have been ceded by the company that had held 
them for twenty-nine years, for the sum of $30,000 
to M. le Capitaine Sutter, and delivered into his in- 
disputable possession. This document in later years 
was paraded as Sutter's deed, and, in the absence of 
other documents to throw light on the Russian tenure, 
was made the basis of a somewhat plausible claim for 
possession of the land.^" 

The general question of what has been called the 
Russian title or right to possessions in California, of 
some interest in the past from prevailing ignorance 
respecting the facts, has little importance in the eyes 
of my readers familiar with those facts. It has been 
claimed — and some Russians in early times urged their 
government to take that position, and since the dis- 

°^ Kotchef 's certificate in a letter of Etholin to the directors of the co. , in 
Euss. Amer. Mat., MS., v. Also in ' Veritas,^ Examiii., etc., 9-10. Sutter, 
Pers. Remin., MS., 54-9, 82-4, gives a very inaccurate version of the whole 
transaction, saying among other things that he was to make annual payments 
of such produce as he could raise until the debt was paid, no time being speci- 
fied. He says when he asked for a title to his land, it was refused, as he 
had no money to spend. ' Money made the Mexican authorities see anything. ' 
He regrets that he did not leave New Helvetia and move to Ross. 15idwell, 
Bemin., MS., 8"2-3, understood that Sutter acquired a right to the land, con- 
sisting in an almost expired charter from Spain! Mention of the sale to &ut- 
tcr in Mofras, Explor., ii. 8-9; IFittcs' Nan:, v. 191; TuthiU's Hist. Cat., 
120; RandoliMs Oration; BidweU's Jour, to Cat., 20-\; Street er's Recoil., 'MS., 
53; Sutter's Diary, 3; Torres, Perip,'cias, MS., 90-1; Schmolder, Keuer 
Wegreiser, 76. Simpson, Narrative, 2G9-70, after speaking of the Russian 
occupation and final hack of success, says: 'They have accordingly within 
tliese few weeks transferred their stock tn a Swiss adventurer by the namo of 
Sutter, and are now engaged in withdrawing all their people from the coun- 
try.' Capt. Guerra, writing on June 14, 1841, to Mofras, Doc. Ilxst. Cat, 
MS., iv. 1100-1, says: 'It cannot indeed be satisfactory topeopleof foresight, 
that the Russians abandon their post; for they have always been good neigh- 
bors to us; and it is much to be feared, as you say, that, such a check being 
removed, the Indians will begin their lamentable raids.' 


covery of gold have still defended the right to have 
taken that position — that the Spaniards, notvt'ithstand- 
ing their prior discoveries and foi"mal acts of posses- 
sion on the Pacific coast, had no rights beyond their 
actual occupation; and, San Francisco being the 
northern limit of such occupation in 1812, the Rus- 
sians, or any other nation, could acquire hj settlement 
a perfpct title from any point north of the bay. It 
has been claimed that the Russians did thus occupy 
Ross and Bodega; and that any objection on the part 
of Spain, Mexico, or California was as absurd in the 
eyes of the nations as would have been the claim of 
Spain to the whole of America by virtue of Colum- 
bus' discovery. Moreover, it has been sought to prove, 
from detached portions of the slight correspondence 
extant, that Spain either expressly or tacitly approved 
the act of the Russians; that their title was acknowl- 
edged virtually by Mexico and California for many 
years; and that in any event Russian sovereignty was 
confirmed by twenty-nine years of actual possession. 
The reader knows that in fact there was never any 
approval, expressed or implied, of the Russian right to 
territorial possessions in California ; but that the occu- 
j^ation of Ross was begun and continued under constant 
and oft-repeated protest on the part of the Californian 
officials as Spaniards and Mexicans, even when as 
individuals they were on the most friendly terms with 
the officers of the Russian American Company. Had 
Russia seen fit to assert a claim to a part of Califor- 
nia, her claim would doubtless have been resisted by 
Spain and Mexico, and could have been maintained 
only by superior force. Had the question been sub- 
mitted to any tribunal other than one of military 
power, it would have presented many points of inter- 
est; but the equities of international law would, I 
believe, have been in favor of the Spaniards. Spain 
had not been, considering the spirit of the times, ex- 
cessivel}^ grasping in'her claims on the northern coasts. 
She had preceded other nations in explorations up to 


a high latitude, and so long as there was a prospect of 
controlhng communication by water with the spice 
islands of India, the Atlantic, or with jSTew Mexico, 
she would have fought for her prerogative in that di- 
rection. But as that prospect gradually disappeared, 
she lost her desire for possessions in the far north , and 
was content with a stretch of harborless coast between 
her northernmost port and the southernmost one of a 
foreign neighbor. She had not only discovered the 
whole northern coast, but, so far as Bodega was con- 
cerned, had sent to explore that bay and take formal 
possession the navigator who had given it his name; 
and she had even, on one occasion, sent a company of 
men both by land and sea to occupy the site which 
circumstances had obliged them to abandon tempora- 
rily. They fully believed that the region north of 
the bay was part of their territory, and they often 
signified by word and deed their intention to occupy 
it; but through lack of enterprise and other obstacles, 
their progress was slow. It is doubtless true that, in 
the case of an island or other definitely bounded region, 
mere discovery, with the attendant act of possession, 
unless followed within a reasonable time by actual 
occupation, or at least by actions showing a definite 
and constant intention to occupy, would have created 
no title to be respected by the nations; but that the 
Spanish march of settlement up the Pacific coast, 
after repeated voyages of exploration, acts of posses- 
sion, expressions of intention to occupy, and constant 
progress in that direction, could be suspended at any 
time by another European nation at any point a few 
miles beyond the northernmost permanent settlement, 
cannot be maintained consistently with the spirit of 
international law. 

Russia had no right to occupy Santa Barbara in 
17G9, or Santa Cruz in 1771; neither could she in 
1812 — not in an unbroken line of advancement from 
the north to meet that of Spain from the south, but 
by a jump over the possessions of other nations — come 


to Bodega and acquire an equitable title by founding 
a settlement in spite of Spanish protests. All this, 
however, is mere theorizing about a claim that never 
had any but an imaginary existence. Russia never 
made any pretension to sovereignty over the Bodega 
region or any portion of the Californian territory. 
The officers of the company were, it is true, promised 
imperial protection in their enterprise at the beginning; 
but the necessity for such protection never arose, and 
it is idle to speculate as to the form it might have 
taken. It is absurd, moreover, to defend a Russian 
title never claimed by Russia or recognized by any 
other power. Not even the Russian American Com- 
pany ever advanced a claim to territorial possessions 
in California. Their aim was to establish a post for 
fur-hunting and for trade. Their efforts were to con- 
ciliate the Californians, and to maintain friendly com- 
mercial relations. They wished to be let alone. They 
avoided discussion respecting their rights, talked al- 
waj's of the mutual interests of the company and 
California, and strove to keep the matter quiet at 
Madrid and St Petersburg. They would not have 
favored the assertion and enforcement by Russia of a 
territorial claim, since such a claim would have been 
prejudicial to their financial interests. It is true that 
individual Russians, including members of the com- 
pany, sometimes asserted and defended the rights of 
their nation to the lands about Ross, but their views 
met no official approval. Finally, the company re- 
solved, with a somewhat lukewarm approval from the 
government, to negotiate witj.i Mexico for a conces- 
sion of the Ross territory and its extension to the 
bay ; but the negotiations resulted in failure. 

The strongest claim in equity — though of no legal 
force in Spanish or Mexican law — which the company 
could have set up to the lands actually occupied at 
Bodega would have been one of individual owner- 
ship, based on jDurchase from the natives, and an un- 
interrupted possession for thirty years; but it would 


have served no good purpose to urge sucli a claim in 
1841, as the land had little or no value in itself, and 
opposition from the Californian government was likely 
to interfere with the sale. Alvarado would not recog- 
nize any title to the land. The company expressly 
excepted the land in their bargain with Sutter, and 
Sutter did not suppose that he had purchased any 
land. Under these circumstances, assuredly but one 
argument could be advanced to show that the Rus- 
sian title was not dead — and that was, that it had 
never lived. 

Yet, as we have seen, Manager Rotchef gave Sut- 
ter a certificate of transfer of the property that had 
been under his care, in which paper the lands were 
included. Rotchef was not the company's agent for 
the sale of the property, and could not have conveyed 
a title if there had been one to convey. But in later 
years when the lands had acquired greater value, and 
were in possession of settlers holding under Mexican 
grants of 1844, Sutter had the efi'rontery to produce 
the Rotchef document as a deed, and to dispose of his 
title to men who attempted to extort money from the 
settlers, and who are said to have been partially suc- 
cessful. This was in 1859-60. The affair gave rise 
to much local excitement, and to a general ransack- 
ing of the early annals. Public meetings were held, 
and ingenious arguments were presented on both 
sides. It is no part of my purpose to enter into the 
details of this transaction, by which fortunately only 
one or two men seem to have been victimized; but 
under no hypothesis that occurs to me can Sutter's 
action be regarded as that of an honorable man.^"^ 

*' See Veritas, An examination of the S%issian grant from A. Eotcheff to 
John A. Sutter in I84I. Sacramento, 1860; S. F. Bulletin, May 3, i, 18G0; 
Pdaluma Argus, Feb.-May, 1860. In Sonoma County History, p. 362-78, 
there is given a good descriptive and historical sketch of the Ross settlement, 
in which considerable attention is paid to the Sutter purchase and title; but 
in this part of his work tho author goes far astray, representing Sutter as hav- 
ing been at the worst an innocent victim of Russian wiles. I quote briefly 
as follows: ' They persuaded Sutter into the liclief that their title was good 
and could be maintained. . . . The transfer was duly made, and Sutter became. 


Manager Rotchef, with all remaining servants of 
the company, sailed on the Constantine, which was at 
San Francisco in December 1841, and probably left 
Ross early in January 1842. One Russian, and 
perhaps several, remained on the ranches to look out 
for the company's interests.^* Sutter sent Robert 
Ridley to assume charge for him at first; but John 
Bidwell took his place early in 1842, and was in turn 
succeeded by William Benitz late in 1843. Mean- 
while most of the mova,ble property, including the 
cannon, implements, and most of the cattle, was re- 
moved to New Helvetia. The few hundred cattle 
left behind soon became so wild that if meat was 
needed it was easier to catch a deer or bear.^'' The 
Californians made no effort to occupy the abandoned 
fortress; since, having virtually consented to the sale 
of everything but the land, the government had no 
property to be protected there; and if there had been 
soldiers to spare or money to spend, there were other 
points in more urgent need of protection. ^^ The local 

as he thought, the greatest land-holder in California. The grants given by 
the Mc'-iLcTu iMiverranent seemed mere bagatelles compared with his almost 
provincial possessions. But alas for human hopes and aspirations! for in 
reality he had paid an enormous price for a very paltry compensation of per- 
s'-nal and chattel property. It is apropos to remai-k here that in 1Sj9 Sutter 
disp'ioi d "t Ins l;ns,ian claim, which was a six-eighths interest in the lands, 
to A ' ^ ' ' ' < 'I'Q. R. Moore, and Daniel W. Welty ; but they only sue- 
ctnl ^(i, 000 out of one settler. The remainder refused to pay, 

an! 1 .liiippeil. Some of the settlers were inclined to consider 

the iiul ..wu lIli..i a black-mailing affair, and to censure Gen. Sutter for dis- 
posing of it to them, charging that he sanctioued the black-mailing process 
and was to share in its profits; but we will say in justice to the general that 
there was no idea of black-mail on his part. He supposed that he did purchase 
a bonnjide claim and title to the land in question of the Russians, and has 
always considered the gi-ants given by the Jlexican government as bogus; 
hence, in giving this quitclaim deed to Muldrow et al, he sincerely thought 
he was deeding that to which he alone had any just or legal claim' ( !). Com- 
ment is unnecessary. 

»^Mofras, Exjplor., ii. 9, says that Rotchef sailed Jan. 1st, leaving M. 
Nikolai in charge of affairs. 

5' Bidwell, Cal. IS4I-S, MS., p. 70-100, gives many interesting facts about 
oocnrrences of this time. See also Soimma Co. Hist., 373, etc. 

^"Jan. 11, 1842, Alvarado suggests to the min. of rel. thatitwould be well 
to station 40 or 50 men at Ross to protect the frontier. Dept. Kee., MS., xiii. 
8-10, But nothing more is heard of the matter. Cast-AHin-cs. Col. Doc. Cat, 
4S-9, writing in 1844 says the Mex. govt has t;il< n r • -■ ; - to occupy Ross; 
the cannon have been removed by Sutter; and 1 .« as in posses- 

sion of Bodega. Bustamante, On^yiHC/c J/<?.i-., ii. I , ^ t the abandon- 

ment of Ross and the orders issued at Mexico to lal.o ;.u,,.sr,ssiuu. 

A BAD DEBT. 187 

annals of Bodega and the surrounding region after 
the Russians had departed do not belong to this part 
of my work. 

The Russians had striven faithfully but in vain to 
make their Californian colony a success; and now 
they had set for themselves a task whose difficulties 
were scarcely less formidable than those of their orig- 
inal scheme of 1811, namely, the collection of a debt 
from John A. Sutter. The records of their efforts 
and progress are not so complete as would be desirable ; 
but for three years absolutely nothing was paid, while 
on account of certain expenses for which Sutter was 
responsible,^^ the debt had increased from §30,000 to 
$31,774. The vessel which came for produce in the 
autumn of 1845 succeeded in obtaining a small quan- 
tity of wheat, which reduced the amount of indebt- 
edness to $30,219. At this time the government, in 
accordance with instructions from Mexico, entered 
into communication with Dionisius Zarembo, the 
company's agent, on board the Nasslednik, with a 
view to learn the exact condition of the affair; and 
Zarembo, in turn, called on the authorities to compel 
Sutter to pay his debt. Fears of foreign encroach- 
ment were then rife, as we shall see, and it was 
deemed desirable to get possession of New Helvetia. 
As Sutter would not sell, except at an exorbitant 
price, and as his inability to pay his debts was well 
known, it was in contemplation to buy the Russian 
company's mortgage, as the cheapest and surest way 
to secure the post. Though the evidence is not quite 
clear, I think a bargain to that effect was made ; but 
its consummation was defeated by the war with the 
United States, before confirmation could be obtained 
from Mexico.''^ 

^' In 1S43 and 1S44, Sutter also had some trouble to pay the tonnage dues 
on the Russian craft ■H'hich had come for wlieat. In 1S43 his launch was 
seized by the revenue officers-as security, and in 1844 his draft was refused 
at the custom-house. Pinto, Doc, MS., ii. 25; Dep. St. Pap., Ben., MS., 
lii. Gl. 

"'-Sept. 12, 184.5, Sec. Covarrubias to Prefect Castro, calling for an imme- 
diate report in accordance with the president's orders. Castro, Doc, MS., i. 


In purchasing the Ross property Sutter had not 
dehberately intended to swindle the sellers. He had, 
as was usual with him, assumed a heavy obligation 
without consideration of his prospective ability to 
meet it. That he could make no payments at all 
within the time assigned for paying the whole sum 
did not seem to him an alarming state of affairs. 
There were excuses in abundance. Crops had failed 
from drought; civil dissensions had claimed his atten- 
tion; creditors much nearer than Sitka had pressed 
him; and something was likely enough to turn up — 
as indeed something did, in the discovery of gold. 
Considerable grain seems to have been delivered in 
1846 or 1847; for the company's accounts show®* that 
by the latter year nearly one fourth of the original 
$30,000 had been paid, though by reason of expenses 
accrued the debt had not been much reduced. Mean- 
while the company after the conquest had presented 
its claims to the new authorities, and renewed its 
mortgages under United States forms.®* In 1848-9 

154-5. Oct. 18th, Zarembo to sub-prefect, in reply to a communication of 
Sept. 15th, in Russian and English, stating the amount due, and enclosing 
the original contract of 1841. /(/., i. 178-9. Spanish translation by Hart- 
ucll. Fernandez, Doc, MS., i^d. Nov. Cth, Zarembo to prefect. Has seen 
Sutter, who will pay only 900 fan. wheat this year. Asks aid to collect this 
debt, and others amounting to $21,344 due from parties in Cal. C'adro, Doc, 
MS., i. 218. Nov. 7th, Castro's reply. Will take steps to compel the 
payment. Id., i. 221. Castro, Relacion, MS., 160-2, states, and I have no 
reason to doubt the statement, that he, as prefect, and Zarembo signed a con- 
tract at Yerba Buena on Nov. 24th. Dec. 13th, Zarembo to gov. Asks that 
Leidesdorff be recognized as the company's agent in the matter. Dept. St, 

Pap., MS., vi. 135. Dec. 27th, to Forbes. Rough draft of the contract. 

It was simply au agreement to buy and sell the claim for §31,000, and the co. 
was allowed to receive what Sutter might pay that year — since it was known, 
as the writer adds in a note, that be had little or nothing to pay. Id., v. 
121-2. Dec. 29th, Covarrubias to prefect. Wants a copy of the agreement 
for the gov. Ccu<^tro, Doc, SIS., i. 64. Jan. 24, 1846, Forbes, English vice- 
consul, to governor's secretary. Speaks of the aiTangement as advantageous, 
and thinks it should be confirmed by Mexico. A commissioner was to be 
sent at once. Moreno, Doc, MS., 3-1-6. Larkin, however, says that the Rus- 
sian gov. told him that he did not favor any such arrangement, deeming 
Sutter a safer debtor than the govt! Lark'ui's Notes on Personal Char, of Cal- 
ifornians, MS., p. 109. 

'^ Copies by M. Alphonse Pinart from the originals at St Petersburg. Yet 
according to Unbound Doc, MS., 301-2, Gov. Teberenot wrote, Dec. 15, 1846, 
toCapt. Mervine that only .S3,S 12.71, had been paid; asks aid in collecting the 
debt. M. replies, Jan. 17, 1847, thatMontgomery didallthf.t waspossiMc; but 
that Sutter cannot dispose of any property pending the wpurt vi a tribunal. 

''Nov. 10, 1846, Sutter to Washington Bartlett. Demands to know his 


Sutter, in order that some one creditor might not get 
an advantage over others as is said, conveyed all his 
property to his son;^^ but in these years, or at least 
by 1850, as is shown by the company's accounts for 
that year, he was able to reduce the Russian debt by 
87,000, and had made a definite agreement to pay the 
remainder to an agent at San Francisco. This prom- 
ise seems to have been kept, as all agree that the debt 
Avas paid in full not long after 1850; but one Russian 
authority tells us that the company's agent absconded 
with the last payment of $15,000, to cap the climax 
of Russian misfortunes in California. Yet in the 
flush times following the discovery of gold, they were 
able to sell, at very profitable rates, one or two cargoes 
of articles deemed valueless that had been accumulat- 
ing at Sitka for many years."^ 

authority for issuing an attachment on his real estate, and threatens a suit 
for damages against him and the company. McKinstri/s Papers, MS. , 2-1^5. 

«^ Burnett's Hecoll., MS., ii. 1-3, 124. 

'" Golovnin, Voya;ie, 22-3, 123. No particulars are given by any authority 
about Sutter's last payment, but all state that the debt was paid during the 
flush times; though Bidwell tells us that the payment left Sutter but little 
available property. In the Sonoma Co. Hist., 372, it is stated that 'the last 
payment was made by Sutter through Ex -gov. Burnett in 1849. Sutter paid 
tl-.e entire amount in cash, and not a part in casli and the remainder in wheat 
and real estate, as has been stated. E. V. Sutter, a son of the general, is our 
authority for the above statements. ' 




Events of the Yeak — Small Part Played bt CALiroRNiANS — Apathy 
IN Politics — A Season of Drought — At the Capital — Governor 
Alvarado — Jimeno Acting Ruler — No Session of the Junta De- 
partamental — No Excess of Government — Administration of Jus- 
tice — Mission Affahis — Continued Spoliation — Mofras' Statis- 
tics—Pueblo OF San Juan de Arguello — The Bishop's Arrival — 
Indian Affairs — A Time of Peace — Military Items — Alvarado and 
Vallejo — Policy and Motives or the Comandante General— Un- 
founded Charges— Action in Mexico — Reconciliation — Castro or 
Prudon— Vallejo's Plans for Reform. 

The first year of the new decade was by no means 
an uneventful one in the annals of California. In 1841 
the Russians abandoned the establishment which for 
three decades had caused the Spanish and Mexican 
authorities much anxiety politically, but in other re- 
spects had been a benefit to the country. Not only 
did the Russian American Company depart, but the 
English Hudson's Bay Company came in its stead to 
effect a permanent establishment, to continue hunting 
operations, to purchase live-stock for the north, and, 
as many feared, to monopolize the Californian trade. 
New Helvetia absorbed the property of Ross, and by 
its peculiar position, its foreign character, and the 
temperament of its ruler, also succeeded Ross as a 
fomenter of political fears. Among the forty vessels 
of the year there were seven men-of-war, or national 
exploring craft; and the trading fleet, though hides 
and tallow were not so readily obtained as formerly, 

ANNALS OF 1S41. 101 

paid $100,000 in duties on goods imported. It was 
ill 1841 that the U. S. exploi-ing expedition came to 
the Sacramento Valley by land and sea, that an at- 
tache of the French government made a tour of ob- 
servation through the country, and that California 
was visited by a prominent English navigator — exten- 
sive narratives being written as a result by Lieuten- 
ant Wilkes, M. Duflot de Mofras, and Sir George 
Simpson. In 1841 three great nations were cherish- 
ing hopes of supplanting Mexico in the possession of 
this western land. In 1841 not only did many exiles 
of the past jear return, but the tide of overland immi- 
gration began to flow in across the snowy sierra. 

In all this, however, it will be noticed that foreign- 
ers were the active agents. Each topic of foreign 
relations is to be fully recorded in the following chap- 
ters. In this one I have to write of what was done 
by the Californians ; and it must be admitted that they 
did little except to wait and wonder what strangers 
would conclude to do with them and their country. 
Politicall}^ it was a time of apathetic inaction, with- 
out a revolutionary symptom even on paper. In the 
south, especially, does the year present but a blank 
page in history. Except now and then a petty occur- 
rence of purely local nature, there is nothing to be 
recorded of the region below Monterey. It is not to 
be supposed that the abajeuos had forgotten their 
grievances, but they gave no sign of discontent. There 
were no protests or pronunciamientos from the versa- 
tile ayuntamiento of Angeles. Josd Antonio Carrillo 
Vi'as not accused, so far as I know, of political intrigue. 
Even Juan Bandini held his peace and wrote no long 
letters. In the north, except so far as the foreign 
element was concerned, the current of events was 
almost equally placid and monotonous. The season was 
one of drought, causing a partial failure of crops, and 
considerable loss in live-stock,^ but there was no suf- 

'Bidwell, Journey to Cat, 23-5, 29, speaks of the drought of 1S40-1, as 
do other immigrants; but he gives a table of the weather for each day in the 


fering among the people, who were as prosperous as 
was possible with such an expenditure of energy as 
they were disposed to make. The drought, however, 
with the diminished productiveness of the mission es- 
tates, made it harder than usual for the traders to fill 
up their cargoes, and collect the amounts due from 
the rancheros; so that the country's lack of prosperit}^ 
was somewhat exaggerated in their reports. 

At the capital the governor and the clique of oflS- 
cials about him displayed a degree of zeal in the 
handling of departmental funds, if in nothing else. 
They received $100,000 from the custom-house, with 
a large but unknown amount from the ex-mission 
estates. There were current suspicions that the pub- 
lic money was squandered on various private and 
public fiestas, and that the residue was not quite im- 
partially distributed; but there are no proofs that such 
was the case, nor any indications that they ever had 
difBculty in finding a use for all the moneys they could 
collect. Alvarado had been at his best in the revolu- 
tion against Mexico in 183G and in subsequent troubles 
with the south. In honesty and intelligence he had 
equalled, in energy and executive ability as in per- 
sonal popularity he had excelled, the best of those 
about him; but he had now degenerated in several 
respects. The gross charges of rascality made against 
him by men like Farnham were unfounded. Alva- 
rado was yet a courteous and well-meaning ruler, com- 
paratively liberal and free from narrow prejudices. 
But he had lost much of his old enthusiasm for reform, 
and was content to let public affairs drift for the most 
part as they would, to perform carelessly the few 
routine duties devolving upon him, to deplore the non- 
progressive condition of the department, and cast the 

season of 1841-2, indicating an average number of rainy days, 35 from Nov. 
15th to Mai-ch 31st. He says, however, that the winter waswet. Drought men- 
tioned in Honolulu Polyne-iimi, ii. 55; Niles' Hei/ister, Ixi. 98; Torre, Hemiii., 
MS., 102; Bdden's Hist. Statement, MS., 16. _ The drought extended to the 
south also. Oiitrra, Doc, MS., v. 203. Larkin says not water enough fell to 
raise the streams an inch. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxvi. 214. 


blame on circumstances, or fate, or Mexico. He gave 
himself up to convivial pleasures, drank deeply, was 
often unable from 'illness' to attend to official duties, 
and having injured himself severely by a fall when 
intoxicated, was obliged to turn over his office in Sep- 
tember to Jimeno Casarin, as he had done several times 

The junta departamental did not assemble at all 
during the year, as a majority of the members when 
summoned excused their non-attendance on various 
pretexts more or less satisfactory to themselves.^ 
Neither was there any session or organization of the 
tribunal superior, though the members of that body 
had been appointed the year before.* Andres Cas- 
tillero was representing California in Congress, but he 
might as well have been in Patagonia for all that is 
heard of his public services at this time. The su- 
preme government did nothing but forward certain 
warnings against foreigners, with a few routine orders 
and instructions to which no special attention was 
paid in the department. 

Thus it will be seen that California, whatever may 
have been her misfortunes, was not suffering from too 
much government; and the result, so far as the gen- 

' Jan. 1, 1S41, A. assumed the govt. Dept. St. Pap., Aug., MS., xii. 44. 
Sept. 21st, Jimeno becomes acting gov. on account of A.'s illness. Id., xi. 
127-8; Dtpt. Rec, MS., xii. IS, 42-3; Angeles, Arch., MS., ii. 107-9. Dec. 
31st, A. re-assumes the office. Dept. Rec, MS., xii. 28, 46; Dept. St. Pap., 
Anij., MS., xi. 131. It was as 1st vocal of the dip. that Jimeno became 
acting gov., and meanwhile Jos6 Z. Fernandez acted as secretary. A.'s ac- 
cident is noticed in print by Sir Geo. Simpson, in MS. by Janssens, and in 
conversation by many Californians. 

'The junta had been convoked in Dec. 1840 to meet in Jan. Requena, 
Pio Pico, and Jos6 Castro excuse themselves on the plea of ill health; and 
Requena also argues that the junta expires legally on Dec. 31st and must be 
renewed in toto. Dept. St. Pap., MS., v. 34-6. Jan. 9, 1841, Santiago Ar- 
guello cannot attend on account of his duties as prefect, fearing disorders in 
his district. Leg. Rec, MS., iv. 1. March 12th, Alvarado complains that 
all the vocales but one replied that there were 'legal impediments' to their 
attendance. S. Diego, Arch., MS., 280. June 21st, A. tomin. of rel, com- 
plaining of a lack of interest on the part of the dip., which body will not 
even meet to discuss important matters. Dept. Rec, MS., xii. 34. 

■■See Jlist. Col., vol. iii., chap, xx., this series. Ina letter of June 5, 1841, 
Requena says the chief reason why the tribunal has not been ojieneJ is be- 
cause the gov. is unwilling to give J. A. Carrillo an opportunity for intrigue. 
Requena, Doc, MS., 2. 

Hisi. Cal., Vol. IV. 13 


eral condition of the people was concerned, was not 
altogether unsatisfactory. Local matters were well 
enough managed, according to Hispano-Araerican 
ideas, by prefects and jueces de paz; and in several 
instances the perpetrators of serious crimes were pun- 
ished with a promptness almost unheard of in Cali- 
fornia. Doubtless there was room for great reforms 
in the administration of justice. Indian horse-thieves 
were becoming bold in their operations, petty thefts 
and drunken quarrels among vagabonds of the towns 
were too often unpunished ; but it must be added that 
current statements of foreign visitors respecting the 
reign of crime and the utter lack of protection to life 
and property were grossly exaggerated. 

The year brought no changes of a general nature 
in the administration of mission affairs, and the con- 
dition of the different establishments remained prac- 
tically as in 1839-40.^ No successor was appointed 
to Hartnell as visitador, and the majordomos in 
charge of the estates were responsible directly to the 
government. There are no accounts and little cor- 
respondence extant respecting drafts upon those 
estates in behalf of the departmental treasurj';* but 
while it is impossible to estimate the amount obtained, 
there is no doubt that such drafts were freely made 
whenever mission products could be utilized. Foreign 
visitors allude in general terms to the destruction of 
the missions, but refer rather to the period than to the 
j^ear; and in its general phases this subject has al- 
ready received sufficient attention.'' From the mass 

^ See chap. ii. of this vol. 

" Feb. 1841, 1,100 sheep delivered by governor's order from Sta Clara to 
Douglas; in March, 50 cows to the same person. St. Pap. Miss., MS., ix. 43. 
These animals were sold by the gov. to the H. B. Co. 

' Jan. 29, 1841, Ethan Estabrook ^vrites to Larkin: ' Should his excellency 
continue in oiBce I have no doubt the missions will suffer till there is nothing 
left to suffer.' Ltirkin's Dnc, MS., i. 122. Mofras, Explor., i. 390, 420, says 
that Alvarado took all the cattle left at Soledad, with all the iron-work, and 
the tiles for his own house, and gave everything remaining to his friend So- 
beranes. Ho also speaks of the deliberate plunder of Mission S. Jos6 by the 
Vallejo family. 


of petty local items extant I judge that in 1841 thei'e 
was less of abuse and robbery in the administration 
of these estates than in former years — either because 
of reforms introduced by Hartnell, a weeding-out of 
some of the worst administrators, greater vigilance 
on the part of the governor, or a lack of desirable 
property to be stolen : perhaps for all these causes com- 
bined. The padres, increased in number to twenty- 
three by the return of Garcia Diego and the coming 
of Santillan and Ambris, novices who soon became 
priests, served as curates at their respective estab- 
lishments, and nothing was heard of those in the 
south bej'ond an occasional protest against the con- 
duct of an unmanageable majordomo, or against the 
granting of some mission rancho. In the north the 
Zacatecanos sustained and increased their unenvi- 
able reputation by the disgraceful conduct of the 
drunken Padre Quijas, and the hardly less apparent 
immoralities of certain others, which foreign visitors 
especially did not fail to notice and to write about,* 

At or in connection with each of the southern es- 
tablishments, as at several of those in the north, a 
small number of Indians were still living in commu- 
nity, on one basis or another, more or less completely 
under the control of administrators or padres, or both." 
Mofras gives the number of Indians living in com- 
munity in 1841-2 as 4,450, varying from 20 at Sole- 
dad and San Rafael to 500 and 650 at San Gabriel, 
San Diego, and San Luis Rey; but in these figures 
he must include at several places in the north many 
Indians who had no other connection with the mis- 
sions than that of living somewhere in the vicinity.^" 

^ Wilkes, Simpson, and Peirce speak in plain terms on the subject; still it 
must be admitted that so far as their personal observations went, P. Qiiijas 
■was the one mainly responsible. 

" July '26tli, Alvarado by a decree releases an Indian from his condition of 
neophyte, allowing him to support himself and family as he pleases. Baiidinl, 
Doc, MS., 52. Prefect Argiiello complains to Capt. Guen-a of the scandalous 
immorality prevalent in the southern missions, some of which are little else 
than brothels. Giierra, Doc, MS., vii. 82^3. 

^"Mofras, Explor., i. 320. This author gives a very good description of 
the condition of each establishment. 


There is no satisfactor}'- information respecting tlie 
Indian pueblos of the south;" and the odI}^ event of 
local annals requiring notice in this connection is the 
dissolution of the neophyte community at San Juan 
Capistrano. This action was taken by the governor 
in consequence of dissatisfaction with the majordomo, 
and of a petition from citizens of San Diego to have 
lands assigned them. The order was issued in July 
and the lands were distributed some months later. 
The Indians were given the preference in the choice 
of lands, and the new pueblo was named San Juan de 
Argiiello.*" Bishop Garcia Diego arrived in 1841, 
landing from the Rosalind at San Diego with a suite 
of twelve persons the 11th of December; but his 
formal reception, together with the beginnings of the 
grand work he no doubt intended to accomplish for 
his diocese, belongs to the annals of another year.^^ 

Bare mention is all that is called for in the matter 
of Indian affairs. Though fears were expressed that 
hostile gentiles might again possess the country," and 

•' Feb. -April 1841, some dissatisfaction of the Indians at Las Flores, S. 
Pascual, and S. Dieguito, at the interference of the Picos. Hayes' Mission 
Book, 347, from S. Jiiego Archives. 

'^Extracts from archives in Hayes' Mission Booh, i. 121-2, 126-S; Jans- 
sens, Vida, MS., 167-9; Los Anr/eles Star, Nov. 13, 1869; S. Dieyo, Index, 
MS., 137; Dei)t. St. Pap., Aiig.,'Uii., xii. 54; Dept. St. Pap., MS., xviii. 46, 

"Dec. 12, 1841, Arguello to governor, announcing the bishop's arrival, 
and ordering some preparations for his journey to the presidio from some 
point not clearly defined. He was to start in a siVa de manos as soon as tho 
people had assembled, and was to lodge at Bandini's house. De/>t. St. Pap. , 
Ben. Pre/, y Juzg., MS., iii. 102^. Nov. 5th, contract with Capt. Crouch 
of the Rosalind to carry the bishop and suite from S. Bias to S. Diego for 
§2,000 and all tonnage dues. Id., vi. 80-1. July 29th, Alvarado to Vallejo, 
announcing tliat the bishop is on his way. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 236. His 
episcopal influence was felt before his arrival, as appears from an order of the 
alcalde of S. Diego on Sept. 1, 1840, to keep cattle out of the streets, as the 
bishop might arrive any day! jS'. Diego, Index, MS., 109. On Dec. 18th 
Garcia Diego confirmed 125 persons. S. Diego, Lib. Minion, MS., 45. Va- 
llejo writes to Virmond on Dec. 1st: ' The coming of a bishop is going to cause 
much trouble. Tlie priests are beside themselves with pride, and begin to 
fulminate sentences of excommunication, etc. , relying on that jirelate. Poor 
crazy fools, if they think they can browbeat the leading men in California. 
The ago of theocratic domination is past. However, Californians who liave 
never seen bishops will now know how they dress and observe their ceremo- 
nies. If they intended to plant new missions among the savages, some good 
might result; but notliing is further from the minds of the priests.' Vallejo, 
Doc., :MS., viii. 33o. 

" Dec. 24th, Vallejo to chief of stafl" in Jlexico. Vcdlcjo, Doc., MS., x. 398. 


foreign writers spoke in a general way of continual 
outrages, I find in records of the year notliing of de- 
tails beyond the facts that several expeditions of citi- 
zen soldiers and friendly Indians were sent out from 
San Jose against the horse-thieves;^^ that there was 
a continuance of hostilities, or at least of warlike ru- 
mors, on the southern frontier, particularly from May 
to July;'^ and that the fierce Sotoyomes of the north 
were said to be planning a new attempt to destroy 
the gente de razon.^'^ Thus even rumors of hostilities 
were less plentiful than usual ; and while horse-stealing 
was a regular industry of the gentiles, often in league 
v/ith Christians, and occasionally an Indian was killed 
in a conflict between the two classes, there was no real 
hostility in a warlike sense, and no special danger in 
any part of the country. General apathy in Indian 
affairs as in everything else. 

The old mihtary establishment of presidial com- 
panies was still kept up, nominally at San Francisco— 
or rather Sonoma — ]\Ionterey, and Santa Barbara; but 
the company of San Diego had long since disappeared. 
The three companies had about one hundred men on 
their pay rolls, either in active service or as invdlidos; 
and about $30,000 of the departmental revenues was 
devoted to their support. ^^ An artillery force with a 

The general's object was to get an increase of military force, anrl he doubtless 
exaggerated the danger. Alvarado in his letters to Mexico declared often 
that the Indians could be easily controlled. 

"^Jan. 24, 1S41, gov. to prefect. In consequence of an encounter between 
pagans and a neophyte, bows and arrows are to be distributed; and Capt. 
Estrada is to go with the force. Depl. liec., MS., xii. 2. July 23d, J. J. Va- 
llejo to com. gen. Bobberies frequent. 25 citizens will start day after to- 
morrow. Fatff/o, -Doc, MS., X. 221. Feb. I9th, gov. orders payment of §20 to 
an Indian chief who lias returned from his campaign in the Tulares. Depl. St. 
Pap., Ben. Com. and Treas., MS., iv. 02. May-July, payment of §254 and 
other sums for monthly expenses of auxiliary forces against Indians. Id., iv. 

'° May-July, 1841, slight corresp. on reported rising of Ind. of the Sien-a 
de Jamur and Sierra de Tuzmin. JJejjt. St. Pap., Angeles, MS., vi. 32,43; xii. 
57; Pept. Pec, MS., xii. 13; Filch, Doc, MS., 106. 

"Vallejo to Alvarado, July 27th. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 230. Salvador 
Vallcjo was about to march against the foe. 

'^ For particulars see local annals. I note the following military items: 
Jan. 1, 1841, Vallejo to min. of war. The Mazatlan squadron of 1S19 has 
been for many years dispersed for want of resources, each man earning his 


grand total of 24 men was also maintained; of wliich 
Captain Silva was made the commander, and respect- 
ing whicli certain reports were called for and made, 
with a view to increase its efficiency for the country's 
safety. The armament was forty-three cannon, or 
two to each gunner, to say nothing of seventeen use- 
less pieces.^" In addition to the militarj^ force already 
specified, there was a temporary auxiliary or militia 
company organized for service against the Indians, 
but about which at this time little is known. ^^ 

Having thus briefly noticed several matters con- 
nected with the general condition of the country in 
1841, I come back to that of politics, or to the only 
phase of politics outside of foreign relations that still 
ofiered something of interest or importance — the con- 
troversy between the comandante general and the 

At the beginning of the year Vallejo wrote again 
to the supreme government of his grievances and of 
the ruin that Alvarado's policy was bringing upon the 

li\-ing as best he can. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 7. Jan. 11th, the gov. has 
bought 100 carbines from the CcUalina to prevent their being sold to private 
persons. Id., x. 2. jNIarch, Vallejo informs comandautes that )ie has been 
ordered to report on disabled officers, who are to be retired. Id., x. 82. Aug. 
3d, a lieutenant authorizes his attorney to collect from Abrego §1,885, back 
pay for 4 years and 10 months. S. Diego, Arch., MS., 2S2. Aug. 7th, pur- 
chase of 100 carbines from C(5lis and 2,046 flints. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 239. 
Sept. 23d, S300 on account of the general's salary sent with money for the 
company. Id., x. 288. Oct. 1st, V. says that in accordance with orders from 
Mexico he has appointed a comandante for the frontier (distinct from that of 
S. F.) Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Mil., MS., Lxxxv. 3. 

".June 1840, Silva appointed in Mexico to re-organize and command the 
artillery. Savage, Doc, MS., iv. 322-3. Feb. 19, 1841, min. of war calls for 
a report of guns and war material. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 63. April 17th, 
similar order. Id., x. 116. May 12th, report of chief of artillery at Monterey 
on armament and its distribution, as follows: Monterey, IS gims, with cap- 
tain, sergeant, 2 corporals, dnimmer, and 7 privates; S. Francisco, 6 guns 
and 1 man; Sonoma, 7 guns and 5 men; Sta Btirbara, 3 guns and 6 men; S. 
Diego, 9 guns and 1 man; besides useless guns and miscellaneous war ma- 
terial. Id., X. 125-6. 

''" Feb. 16, 1841, general order in Mexico for organization of auxiliary com- 
panies. Vallejo, Doc Hist. Mex., MS., ii. 109. June 28th, Alvarado 
consults Vallejo on the subject. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 181. Payments to 
auxiliaries for service. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Com. and Treas., MS., iv. 57-8. 
Sept. 5th, Capt. Estrada states that his troops have ceased to serve. Id., 
iv. 55. 


countiy,^^ expressing anew his conviction that relief 
must come from Mexico, and that the two commands 
sho&ld be re-united in one person. He also addressed 
a private letter to President Bustamante on the sub- 
ject, explaining that the unfortunate interruption of 
friendly relations between the two men had rendered 
it impossible for him to exert any influence upon 
Alvarado, who had done nothing of late but create 
offices and multiply expenses. A reorganization of 
the public service in all its branches was imperatively 
necessary; at the least, a commissioner should be sent 
from Mexico to study and report on California's needs. 
He also hoped to be soon relieved of his command 
and permitted to visit the national capital.^^ 

Naturally, unworthy motives have been imputed to 
Vallejo. It has been thought that he not only desired 
to humble a rival, but to obtain the governorship for 
himself. Alvarado, as we have seen, had once gone 
so far as to suspect, or to pretend such a suspicion, 
that he was ready to effect his purpose by conspiracy 
with foreigners,'^ and other partisans of the governor 
held and expressed similar opinions.^ A common 

21 Jan. 1, 1841, V. to min. of war. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 4-6, Q-U. Sev- 
eral communications. He says ' the civil govt in unskilful hands has sworn 
the destruction of the military branch, and has not even respected its prop- 
erty;' declares the presidial companies must be restored, and given each its 
rancho — especially must the company of Sonoma have the rancho of Soscol; 
complains of an unjust distribution of the funds; states that Abrego, having 
been appointed comisario without bonds, obeys Ah-arado implicitly; says he 
has only just received his official despatches from the war department for 
1837-40, all having been opened at the capital: charges that not only puldic 
but private mails are tampered with; that the California sailed witliout his 
correspondence, being despatched by the gov. without his knowledge. Abuses 
cf every kind are constantly permitted and relief can come only from the 
national govt, the orders of which at present are despised. Jan. loth, to 
Virmond he writes that the governor's sycophants have caused confusion in 
every branch of the govt, and now, expecting soon to lose their offices, are 
destroying e verj'thing as fast as they can. Id. , x. 42. 

^'^ Jan. 15th, "V. to pres. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 46. He says Guerra y 
Noriega is the only officer at all competent to take his place temporarily. 

^'See Hist. C'al., vol. iii., chap, xx., this series. 

'' Feb. 25, 1841, Joaquin T. Castro from S. Pablo to prefect Tiburcio Cas- 
tro. Fears that Vallejo intends to get the command, and has good reason for 
Lis fears. The foreigners favor him, and Forbes says the Mexican govt lias 
given him encouragement. Has never longed for Don Josh's presence more 
than now. Could say much more, but prefers to wait. Vallejo has threatened 
to make it hot for 'maa de cuatro' in case of success. Monltrey, Arch., MS., 


version of the matter among Californians is in sub- 
stance that Vallejo, angry at not being allowed to 
control the government, strove to overthrow his rival 
and obtain his place, but overshot the mark, since 
both fell together.-^ These charges and suspicions are, 
however, greatly exaggerated if not wholly unfounded. 
I have already shown that at the beginning of the 
quarrel Vallejo was influenced not only by well found- 
ed disapproval of the governor's acts, but by wounded 
personal pride and an exalted idea of his own author- 
ity. In 1839 he would have been flattered by an 
offer of the governorship, as an honor, a source of 
power, and as a means of humbling his foes; but I 
find no evidence that he ever openly or secretly sought 
the office, and I doubt that he would have accepted 
it at all in 1841. The whole tenor of his communi- 
cations to the Mexican government is against the the- 
ory that he desired to be governor.^" Naturally, he 
may still have felt some resentment toward Alvarado, 
or more specially toward his associates at the capital; 
but there are indications that his feelings in that re- 
spect were less bitter than formerlj'. He was tired of 
the estrangement and controversy, and he felt that 
under the unwise management of Alvarado and his 
advisers none of the reforms — political, military, com- 
mercial, and industrial — which he believed essential 
to the country's welfare were to be expected. He be- 

X. 6-7. 'An idea has got abroad that he [Vallejo] is looking to the guberna- 
torial chair, and to be placed there by the same force that has raised Alvarado 
and himself to the posts they now occupy.' IVilki-d' Xarr., v. 210-11. 

^Osio, /list. CaL, MS., 415-18, thinks the action of the govt at the first 
in writing a private letter to both officers did much to promote the quarrel, 
leading each to deem himself the favored one. Each tried, both in Cal. and 
Jlex., to overthrow the other; but it is implied that V. was in the wrong be- 
cause his office was a subordinate one. See also, in a similar strain, some in- 
clining to one side and some to the other, Botello, Aiialcs, JIS., 95; Orel, 
Ocurrencias, MS., 120; Serrano, Apuntes, MS., Gl-2; Fernandez, Corns de 
CaL, MS., 109; Oalindo, Apuntes, MS., 42-.3; and many others. Narratives 
of foreign writers generally give a similar version. 

»» Alvarado himself, Cal, MS., iv. 193-200, docs not charge V. with 
having desired the office; though he does ch.-u-ge him with having been influ- 
enced in his opposition mainly by anger at not being allowed to manage the 
country. In his letter to Virmond of Jan. 14th, V. says his enemies believe 
he is trying to get the governorship, and is likely to succeed; but that such 
is not the case. Vallejo, Doc., MS., x. 42. 


lieved that the department was drifting toward ruin; 
he saw no way of averting the danger under the act- 
ual regime, and he advised a change. His advice, 
from the standpoint of a Mexican official, was sound; 
and I am disposed to think, notwithstanding the cur- 
rent charges, that it was honestly given. Before the 
end of 1841, moreover, the general had doubtless be- 
come convinced that California was not destined to 
remain long under Mexican rule. He was an intelli- 
gent man, foresaw that the change was likely to be 
an advantage to his country and to his own interests, 
and was not disposed to look with dread upon the 
prospect; but being also a man of honor, with a due 
sense of his obligations as a Mexican officer, he con- 
tinued in good faith to urge upon his government the 
imminence of the danger and the only means of avert- 
ing it. As comandante general he was impelled by 
his pride and sense of honor to protect Mexican in- 
terests; but he preferred that the impending change 
should find neitiier himself nor his nephew in charge 
of the department. 

During the summer, while negotiations for the 
abandonment of Ross were in progress, relations be- 
tween the governor and general were not unfriendly, 
as we have seen; and in July letters were exchanged 
by the two, in which they expressed mutual regret for 
past estrangement, and a desire for reconciliation. A 
personal interview was proposed, Jesus Vallejo exert- 
ing himself particularly in the matter; but the mag- 
nate of Sonoma was unwilling to visit the capital, and 
Alvarado declared himself too unwell to come to 
Santa Clara.-'' It was also in July that there came, 

''July 15, 1S41, fragment of a letter from V. to A. 'No men -were ever 
united by so many ties from infancy to manhood.' Hopes to get rid of his 
oiHce, and thus to remove all grounds of rivalry, and, if it bo impossible to re- 
new cordial relations, at least to escape the ridicule of their friends. Vallijo, 
Doc, ISIS., xiv. 29. July 29th, A. to V. Is glad to know that V. desires a 
restoration of harmony; and is at a loss to know exactly what interrupted it 
after their last meeting. Id., x. 23o. July 27th, V. invites A. to visit the 
frontier to have an interview and study the needs of that region. Denies the 
current chai-ges that he desires to make liimself a sultan and to ignore the 


by the same vessel that brought back the foreiga 
exiles from San Bias, a rumor that a new comandante 
general had been appointed, and was about to start 
for California with five hundred men. The rumor, 
though premature, had some foundation in fact, but 
was not credited by the governor.-* 

Meanwhile the government in Mexico replied in 
April to Vallejo's communications of January. In 
these replies, which seem not to have reached Cali- 
foniia until October, Vallejo was assured in the presi- 
dent's name that measures would be promptly dictated 
for the reform of abuses complained of. Alvarado 
was recommended to observe all due consideration for 
the general; both were urged to act in harmony, and 
mutually aid each other in the country's time of trou- 
ble which seemed near at hand.^' About the same 
time Jose Castro came back from Mexico, verj- likely 
with verbal instructions from Bustamante to effect a 
reconciliation between the two chiefs. At any rate, 
he took some steps in that direction, as it was evi- 
dently feared that a crisis was at hand when the gen- 
eral's cooperation would be needed. Writing to 
Vallejo he protested that his friendship was undimin- 
ished, denied that he had tried to compromise the 
general in Mexico, cursed the men who had kept their 
rulers at loggerheads, hoped he would, by coming to 
Monterej^, teach those false friends a lesson, urged 
him to forget all personal differences for the country's 
good, and invited him to come to Mission San Jose 
for an interview. "The good begun by us for Cali- 
fornia must be carried to completion, and our foes 
confounded"!^" Alvarado also wrote, expressing his 
willingness to obey the president's instructions by 

political authorities. He has the force to do so if he wished, but has never 
entertained such unworthy ideas. Id., x. 230. 

^* July 22d, Comandante Flores at Monterey to V. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 
220. July 29th, A. to V. Id., x. 236. 

=» April 6, 15, 1841, min. of war to V. VaJUjo, Doc, MS., x. 9^-9; 103-4 
April 12th, min. of rel. to A. Sup. Govt Si. Pap., MS., xvi. 19. March, 
June, reports called for on state of affairs in Cal. Dept. St. Paj)., Mii., iv. 
137; Awjeles, Arch., MS., ii. GS-70. 

^"Oct. 5th, 2oth, Castro to V. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 301, 315. The gen- 


reducing the number of civil servants, attending to 
the organization of a military force, and taking coun- 
sel of Vallejo and others respecting the course to be 
followed, "so far as policy and circumstances could be 
reconciled with duty."^^ 

Vallejo came down to Mission San Jose in Novem- 
ber as requested,^- and had an interview with Castro, 
though Alvarado was probably not present. The de- 
cision arrived at was that, the situation being critical, 
prompt steps must be taken; that if the country was 
to be saved from foreign invasion, national aid must 
be obtained ; and that Castro should go to Mexico as 
the general's comisionado to secure such aid, as well 
as to ascertain the actual condition of political affiiirs 
in the , national capital, about which there was much 
uncertainty.^ There is room for suspicion that this 
result was deliberately planned by Castro and Al- 
varado as a means of preventing Vallejo from sending 
some other comisionado who would work against the 
governor's interests, as of course Castro was not to 
do. On December 6th, however, Alvarado suddenly 
changed his mind, and decided that Castro was needed 
at home.^* Possibly Alvarado intended at this time 
to send a secret agent by the California in Castro's 

eral's letters are not extant; but he seems to have made some charges against 
Don 3os6. 

"Oct. 27th, A. to V. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 322. 

'- He was there, as will be seen, when the Bartleson company of immi- 
grants arrived. He arrived Nov. 9th and remained at least until the ISth. 

2^ There is no record of the interview. Nov. 17th, V. -writes to A., urging 
the necessity of prompt military organisation. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 349. 
Nov. ISth, V. to Abrego. Requests him to furnish Castro §1,500 for travel- 
ling expenses to Mexico, where he goes on public business. Id., x. 333. Nov. 
30th, Alvarado to V. Will order the California to Monterey to take Castro 
■with V.'s despatches to Mexico; will also send by him a report on the im- 
pending dangers. Id., x. .369. 

^'Dec. 6th, A. to Castro, in Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 373. He has just 
heard of tlie coming of a party of Americans from N. Mexico, which showed 
the danger to be nearer than had been expected, and Castro's services were 
likely to be needed. Moreover, aid from Mexico could hardly come in less than 
six months; and the latest news from Mexico, which he gives at some length, 
leaves some room for doubt that attention will be paid to Califomian matters 
when affairs at the capital are in such an unsettled condition. Ho\^ever, he 
will still send the schooner with despatches. Dec. Sth, Castro to V., for- 
warding A.'s letter, and announcing his readiness to make any sacrifice and 
obey the general's orders. Id., x. 376. 


place; or his change of purpose may have resulted 
from the discovery of Vallejo's purpose to send Victor 
Prudon, his secretary, as a companion to Castro, which 
would render his plot, if plot there was^ ineffectual. 
At any rate, the general had resolved to send Prudon, 
and did not modify his resolution at all in consequence 
of the change in the governor's plan.^ 

Vallejo's despatches to the supreme government in 
December did not differ in spirit from those of January. 
He pictured California as a country nowhere excelled 
in natural advantages of climate, soil, and harbors, 
having all the elements of a grand prosperity, and need- 
ing only an energetic population and wise regulations. 
The immediate and imperative necessity was the pro- 
tection of the department by the presence of a sufficient 
military force. He pointed out in considerable detail 
the country's commercial and agricultural possibilities, 
giving also his views respecting the obstacles in the 
way of their realization. Of course he alluded to the 
old complaints against the actual administration, and 
he formulated a remedial scheme, in substance as fol- 
lows: i. A man should be placed at the head of affairs, 
and invested with both civil and military authority, 
who is not connected by blood or otherwise with other 
authorities or with the governed, ties of relationship 
rendering the chief impotent and his subjects insubor- 
dinate, ii. A force of at least two hundred men should 

'^ Prudon 's name does not appear in this connection until Dec. 11th, when 
— possibly after receiving Castro's letter of the 8th, but probably not — Va- 
Uejo in liis letter to the min. of war announces the sending of Castro and 
Prudon with despatches. VaUejo, Doc. . MS. , x. 384. His instructions dated 

Dec. , are addressed to Castro and Prudon; but by art. G the latter is to go 

alone if Castro for any reason is unable to go. The instructions are simply to 
proceed to Acapulco and Mexico, present despatches, answer questions about 
the country, not to know the object of their mission before their inter\-iew 
with the min. of war, and to hurry back with the answer by the CaUforma, 
which was to wait at Acapulco for them. Not over 6 days were to be spent 
in Mexico. Id., xiv. 28. As Pmdon was Vallejo's private secretary, the 
warning not to know the nature of the mission is very funny. Dec. 21st, V. 
to Abrego. As Castro cannot go, .?l,oOO is to be paid to Prudon. Id., x. 389; 
Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Com. and Treas. , MS., iv. 65. Dec. 23d, V. to mm. of war, 
accrediting C'apt. Victor Prudon as his comisionado, and recommending him 
higlily for competence and integrity. Asks that he be confirmed as captain 
in the regular army. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 393. 


be sent to tlie country with their pay well secured, 
and with competent officers of good character, iii. 
The custom-house should be put in charge of the comi- 
sario, and the corps of treasury servants should be 
largely reduced, iv. There should be established and 
maintained a responsible post-office department, v. 
At San Francisco the fort should be rebuilt, with 
other public edifices, and a custom-house should be 
established. The laws forbidding the coasting trade 
by foreign vessels should be enforced, and the impor- 
tation of various articles prohibited with a view to 
encourage home industries, vi. And finally there 
should be sent a large colony of Mexican artisans and 
farmers to counterbalance the influx of foreigners.^^ 

'^ Valtejo, Males de California y sus remedios. Tn/orme del Comandante 
General al Minislro de O-uerra, 13 de Die, IS4I, :MS., also copied iu Vallejo, 
Hist. Cat., MS., iv. 231-8. Also V. to min. of war, Dec. 11th, in Vallejo, 
Doc, MS., X. 3S4. 




Trading Regulations — Coasting Trade Suspesded and Restored — 
New Mexican Caravan — Smdggling — Vallejo's Plan — Otter-hunt- 
ixG — WiiALERS — List of Vessels — Statistics of Revenue — Finan- 
cial Administration — Hudson's Bay Company in California — Visit 
AND Journal of Sir James Douglas— The Fur-hunters Licensed — 
Purchase of Lite-stock— Proposed Trading-post— Rae's Estab- 


Chief Factor McLoughlin — The Company and Sutter — Simpson 
TO Vallejo— Map — Simpson's N.arrative — Quotations — Warner's 
Lecture on California — Peirce's Visit and Journal. 

In accordance with his warning of February 1840, 
and his communication of December to the supreme 
government,^ Alvarado issued an order in January 
1841, that foreign vessels must in future discharge 
and pay duties on their cargoes at Monterey, the 
coasting trade being strictly prohibited. By the same 
order the importation of foreign sugar, salt, and tim- 
ber was also prohibited, as by the Mexican revenue 
laws.- This act, having been expected for a year, 
excited but little comment or opposition so far as the 

1 See chap. iii. of this vol. Dec. 13th, A. to min. of int. Dept. Rec, MS., 
xi. 76. 

'■'Jan. 2, 1841, Alvarado's order. Dept. Bee., MS., xil. 29; Dept. St. Pap., 
Ben., MS., iii. 25; Id., Ben. Giist.-H., v. 8-9. Vessels actuaUy engaged in the 
coasting trade were to be allowed time to complete their voyages. Corre- 
sponding orders were issued to local authorities to prevent trade by vessels 
which could not show the proper permits from Monterey. S. Diego, Arch., 
MS., 280; Dept. St. Pap., MS., xii. 49. The change is mentioned in .V/fes' 
Peg., March 1841, Ix. 178; and the Honolulu Pobpiesian, March 27th, i. 167. 
Aijproved by Mex. govt in 1841. Sup. Govt St. Pap., MS., xvi. 19. 


records show. The Hudson's Bay Company's vessel 
Colnmhia, having arrived on the 1st, was not aiFected 
by the new regulations, and was permitted to sell 
even the sugar she had on board, without restriction ; 
but the Maryland, arriving later with a cargo of 
Hawaiian sugar, narrowly escaped having that part 
of her cargo confiscated, and her captain was glad to 
get away from Monterey by paying dues on a ton- 
nage far above the vessel's proper register.^ The 
Maryland seems to have been the only vessel of the 
year whose operations were at all interfered with by 
the edict of January, an edict which was virtually 
repealed a few months later. In July the Boston 
ship Tasso and a schooner arrived at Monterey, and on 
hearing that they could not engage in the coasting 
trade, at once prepared to depart without discharg- 
ing their cargoes. This threat, involving a prospect- 
ive loss of about $20,000 in duties, brought the gov- 
ernment to terms, and the vessels were allowed to 
trade as before.* There is no record that the privi- 
lege was formally extended to other vessels; but 
neither does it appear that there was any further at- 
tempt to enforce the edict; and the re-opening of the 
Californian ports was announced at Honolulu.^ 

Current commercial matters of the year, with the 
exception of that just mentioned, were not of a nature 
to attract much attention. The usual caravan of trad- 
ers came overland from New Mexico in the autumn, 
numbering about thirty-five men, under the command 
of Estdvan Vigil. There were the usual fears of the 

'Jan. 29, 1S41, Estabrook to Larkin, announcing the new law, which 
'will unquestionably be earned into effect until the poverty of the govt 
compels them to alter it.' The writer erroneously claims that there was un- 
just discrimination in favor of the Columbia and against the Maryland, sup- 
posing the order to have taken eflfect Jan. 1st. He also pronounces the 
customs officers a 'set of blockheads,' who made a blunder of 60 tons in meas- 
uring the Maryland. They finally took off 40 tons, and Capt. Blinn paid for 
the 20 to avoid delay. Larhln's Doc. , MS., i. 122. In a letter from Monterey 
of Feb. 20th, it is stated that an order was actually issued for the seizure of 
the sugar, but subsequently withdrawn. J/oiiolulu Polynesian, i. 1G7. 

* July 5, 1841, Abrego to Vallejo, in Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 199. 

^ Honolulu Polynesian, ii. 55. The news was brought by the Llama in 


Chaguanosos, the hetes noirs of southern California, 
particular anxiety being excited by reports that a party 
of fifty-five, Americans, Frenchmen, Indians, and even 
'apostate' IMexicans, was approaching with depravadas 
miras, under the leadership of El Cojo Smit, probably 
Peg-leg Smith;® but there are no records of special 
outrages committed by these vagabonds during the 
year; and they must not be confounded with the party 
of immigrants by the same route to be noticed later. 
The smugglers gave the authorities but little trouble, 
though it would be unwise to conclude that they had 
abandoned their evil ways. Abel Stearns did not fail, 
however, to furnish as usual an item for this branch 
of his country's annals, since he' was repeatedly warned 
to cease his contraband operations in hides, and his 
troubles of the preceding year had not yet been fully 

Vallejo still entertained the idea of transferring 
the custom-houso to San Francisco, but made no 
progress towards the realization of his plan. Lieu- 
tenant Wilkes represented Vallejo as controlling the 
entire trade of San Francisco Bay with a view solely 
to his own personal interests, but there was little if 
any foundation for such a charge, and there is noth- 
ing to indicate that the general interfered or desired 
to interfere in the collection of revenues.* Otter- 

^Aug. 19, 1841, passport and instructions to Vigil signed by Capt. Trujillo 
at S. Juan de los Caballeros. Dejit. St. Pap., Ai}ij., MS., vi. 77-8. Rumors 
about tlie Cliaguanosos, some of them brought by Vigil's party, and pre- 
cautions taken. Id., iv. 43; vi. 75-0; xi. 130-1; Guerra, Doc, MS., vi. 152. 
Report about Smith's party. S. Dier/o, Arch., MS., 279. Mofras, Exploration, 
i. 354-6, speaks of the annual caravan; and says that the one arriving at Los 
Angeles in Nov. of this year included 200 New Mexicans and 60 Americans, 
besides a detached party of 40 who went to S. 3os,6. The departure of the 
caravan is noted also in Niles^ Reo-, Ixi. 209. 

''Los Angeles, Arch., MS., ii. 2-6; Dept. St.Pap., Ben. Pref. y/uzg., MS., 
iv. 1-2; vi. 81-2. Amaz, Becuerdos, MS., 52, tells us that Virmond and 
Aguirre did no smuggling. Belden, Hist. Statement, JIS. , G7-8, relates a cur- 
rent stoiy, to the effect that some of the Californians used to sell Larkin the 
same hide several times over by stealing it from the yard back of his store. 

8 Dec. 11, 1841, V. to miu. of war. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 386. Wilkis, 
Narr., v. 210-11, says V. 'is not overscrupulous in demanding duties of 
vessels entering the port of San Francisco; and until he has been seen and 
consulted a vessel trading liere is liable to an indefinite amount of duties. 
A portion of the amount adds to his wealth, and how much goes to the gov- 

VESSELS OF 1841. 209 

hunting went on as before, being confined for the 
most part to the southern coasts and islands, where 
it furnished profitable employment to a few persons. 
Santa Bdrbara was the headquarters of the otter- 
hunters; and captains Fitch, Wilson, and Scott are 
the men specially mentioned as interested in this 
branch of industry in 1841. The records, however, 
are vague and of little interest, being disconnected 
items relating to attempts on the part of the author- 
ities to prevent illegal hunting." Whalers had been 
accustomed to bring goods to trade for needed sup- 
plies; but this j^ear it was deemed necessary to im- 
pose restrictions; and while these vessels were still to 
be exempt from anchorage and tonnage dues, they 
were to pay duties on the goods introduced, which 
could not exceed $500 in value for each vessel.^" I 
may remark here that the visitors of this year, 
Douglas, Mofras, Peirce, Wilkes, and Simpson, in 
their narratives to be noticed elsewhere, give special 
attention to the commercial interests of the country. 
In the maritime list of the year I name forty-six 
vessels," of which number seven were men-of-war, or 

emment is not known — enough I was told in some cases to save appearances, 
and no more.' He ' considers every bushel of grain as much at his command 
'as he does the persons of the people and the property of the state. ' All 
these notions were imbibed largely from Sutter. 

» ,«« Barbara, Arch., MS., 17", 21; S. Diego, Arch., MS., 281; Doc. HUt. 
CaL, MS., iv. 1112; Dept. St. Pap., Avgeles, MS., vi. 28; Nidever's Life, 
MS., 107-8. 

'"I'into, Doc., MS., i. 253, 359-60, 36S-9; Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., iii. 
12. Dec. 7th, Spear to Larkin. Complains that the whalers ' play the 
deuce ' with regular trade, selling goods cheap and paying high prices for 
produce. Larkin' s Doc, MS., i. 193. 

"See full list for 1841-5 at end chap, xxiii., this vol. Vessels of 1841: 
Alert, Ayacucho, Bolina, Bolivar, Braganza, California, C'atalina, Chalo, 
Clara, Columbia, Columbine, Constantine, Corsair, Cowlitz, Curacon, Don 
Quixote, Elena, Eliza,, Flying Fish, Hamilton, Index, Jdven Carolina, J6ven 
Ouipuzcoaiia, Juan Diego, Juan Josi (?), Julia Ann, Lahaina, Llama, Lau- 
sanne (?), Leonidas (?), Leonora (?), Maryland, Morea (?), Nin/a, Oreza, Oregon, 
Orizaba, Porpoise, Hosalind, St Louis (?), Sapphire, Susana, Tasso, Thomas 
Pcrkiiu, Vincennes, Yorktown. On the Oregon-built schooner, the Star of 
Oregon, which came to S. F. and was sold, see Hist. Or., i. 247-8, this series. 
I find no Cal. record of her presence. 

Statistics for 1841; Custom-house receipts according to records in Dept. 

St. Pap., Ben. Cust.-H., MS., v., f 101 , 101 ; expenses, S9,.344; net product, .$91,- 

817. HartneU gives the total as §101,150 from 22 vessels. Pico, Doc, MS., 

i. 85. In Mexico, Mem. Hacienda, 1844, annex. 1, the receipts are given aa 

Hist. Cal., Vol. IV. 1* 


national exploring craft; seven were whalers, and 
probably a lew more not named, while twenty vessels 
made up the trading fleet proper and brought to the 
country goods invoiced at about $100,000, on which 
duties were paid to the same amount. Cargoes in- 
troduced by contraband methods, there are no means 
of estimating accurately, but they certainly were not 
less than half the amounts entered at the custom- 
house. Duflot de Mofras, an intelligent French trav- 
eller who visited California this year, estimated the 
importations at $150,000 and exported products at 
$280,000. Sir James Douglas gave $241,000 as his 
estimate of the exports. Both gentlemen, however, 
referred to an average rather than to this particular 
year. Four or five vessels, the Tasso, Ayacucho, Cor- 
sair, Julia Ann, and CoivUtz, paid more than two 
thirds of the total revenue of the year. 

Antonio Maria Osio still remained in charge of 
the custom-house, and Jose Abrego as comisario still 
superintended the distribution of the public moneys. 
At Monterey there were probably some clerks, and 
there was also a guard under the command of Rafael 
Gonzalez; at other ports the sub-prefect, or justice of 
the peace, was occasionally called on to see that the 
revenue laws were respected. The records make no 
further revelation respecting the administration of 

$97,725; expenses, 811,743: net, §85,982. Larkin, Official Corresp., MS., ii. 
37, also gives the total as §101,150. Wilkes, Marr., v. 1G8-9, gives the fol- 
lowing as the average of exports: 150,000 hides at $2; 200,000 arrobas tallow 
at $1.50; 2,000 beaver skins at $2; 500 sea-otter skins at 830; 12,000 bushels 
of wheat at 50 cents; and 3,000 elk and deer skins at 50 cts or?l. Mo- 
fras, Explor., i. 500-5, gives the imports as Mexican, $50,000; American, 
170,000; English, $20,000; miscellaneous and whalers, $10,000. Exports: 
Mexican, $05,000; American, $150,000; English, $45,000; miscellaneous, 
$20,000: or hides, $210,000; tallow, $55,000; other articles $15,000. Vessels 
from Sept. 1840 to Sept. 1841: Mexican, 10, 1,273 tons, 118 crew, imports 
$50,000, exports $65,000; American, 10, 2,392 tons, 153 crew, imports $70,- 
000, exports $150,000; English, 4, 1,007 tons, crew 54, imports $20,000, ex- 
ports $15,000; miscellaneous, 3, 449 tons, crew 39, imports $10,000, exports 
$20,000. Total, 27 vessels, 5,121 tons, crews 364, imports $150,000, exports 
$280,000. Also 7 men-of-war, 118 guns, 1,020 men; and 9 whalers, 3,575 
tons (?), 275 men. This table also in Cutts' Conqumt of Cat., 23. See also 
tables and comments in Cong. Globe, 1843-4, appendix 226. Exports to Hon- 
olulu $42,700 for this year. Flagrj's Report. See also in Davis's GUm2ises, MS., 
an important table of hide and tailow exports in these years. 


depai'traental finances. Items in the archives, both 
Cahfornian and Mexican, though somewhat numerous, 
are so vague and disconnected as to throw no light on 
the subject, and furnish no statistics. It is evident 
from occasional allusions in correspondence of the time 
that ofjicials at the capital were still popularly accused 
of squandering a considerable portion of the revenues; 
but controversies between the various civil and mili- 
tary claimants, if new ones arose or the old ones con- 
tinued, have left no trace. 

A matter of general interest in the annals of 1841, 
and one whose connection with commercial and mari- 
time affairs is sufficiently marked to give it a place 
naturally in this chapter, is the operations of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company in California. Relations between 
California and the company had, as we have seen, al- 
ways been friendly, but never very intimate. The 
company's vessels running between the Columbia and 
Honolulu had often, but not regularly, touched at 
Monterey and San Francisco for supplies; and their 
trappers had for years frequented the broad valleys of 
the Sacramento and San Joaquin. It was desired to 
establish relations, both in respect of trade and of trap- 
ping, on a more definite and favorable basis; and no- 
body in California had any objections, except perhaps 
Sutter and certain merchants, wlio feared rivalry re- 
spectively in fur-hunting and the foreign trade.^^ Chief 
Factor James Douglas came down from Fort Van- 
couver in the Columhia, arriving at Monterey January 
1st, having with him a party of thirty-six men, and 
also bringing a cargo of goods for sale. The men were 
in part hunters, and others were to drive overland to 
the Columbia a herd of live-stock, which it was hoped 
to purchase. "We have also other objects of a polit- 

'^ Aug. 31, 1840, Francis Johnson at Honolulu writes to Larkin that the 
H. B. Co. is planning to monopolize the trade in all the North Pacific. A 
vessel is now building in England which is to bring a cargo of goods at very 
low prices. Americans at Honolulu, however, do not fear the competition. 
Larkin's Doc, MS., i. 83. 


ical nature in view, which may or may not succeed 
according to circumstances," writes the visitor, "but 
in the event of success the results will be important." 
Douglas has recorded the events of his visit in a 
journal, which has never been published, but of which 
I have a copy, unfortunately not complete, but of the 
greatest interest. It presents a vivid and accurate 
picture of the condition of affairs in the country, par- 
ticularly in commercial and social phases. The author 
remained at the capital three weeks, passing his time 
in an agreeable mixture of social entertainment and 
business conferences with Alvarado, Spence serving 
as interpreter, and affording much aid, though at first 
with the Scotch trader "there was something wrong, 
some lurking suspicion of fancied encroacliments or 
meditated deception" which caused him to "receive 
us with a sort of reserved courtesy that made us feel 
rather uncomfortable." Alvarado was courteous and 
friendly. Osio and the revenue officials were not only 
gentlemanly, but 'of strict integrity,' and business went 
on swimmingly. With a dozen of the company's men 
under McKay, Douglas and his companion Wood 
made the trip overland from Monterey to San Fran- 
cisco, being sumptuously entertained by Hartnell and 
Joaquin Gomez at their ranches on the way. With 
the Salinas and Santa Clara valleys the English visi- 
tor was so delighted that he was moved to pronounce 
California "a country in many respects unrivalled by 
any other part of the globe." Whether or not he saw 
anything on the barren peninsula of San Francisco to 
modify his views, we may not know, for the fragment 
of his journal in my possession terminates abruptly 
with tlie arrival at Santa Clara on January 23d. 
From other sources we know that the voyager was at 
San Francisco late in February, and back in Oregon 
before the end of May.^^ 

^^ Doitplas' Voyage from the Columbia to California, IS40-I, MS., in Id. 
Jovrimls, p. 65-108. .Should I attempt to present quotations from this nar- 
rative, I should hardly know where to stop short of giving the whole. I 


The first matter that came up between Douglas and 
Alvarado was that of fur-hunting operations in the 
interior. Every yenr Michel Laframboise had ranged 
the valleys with a band of the company's trappers, and 
this since 1837 under a kind of official sanction; but 
Sutter, wishing to monopolize the hunting-fields, had 
peremptorily ordered the trappers to discontinue tlieir 
visits — an order not obeyed, as Douglas said, because 
nothing was known of Sutter's authority. Alvarado 
stated that Sutter had acted unadvisedly in issuing 
orders rather than requests ; and he declared that his 
government had been pleased with the conduct of the 
company's hunters as compared with that of other ban- 
ditti calling themselves trappers; yet he insisted that 
as settlements were extended, the hunting-parties 
must withdraw to more distant fields, as their presence 
could not be reconciled with the Mexican laws. "I 
told him," says Douglas, "that the wishes of the gov- 
ernment when oflBcially communicated to us would be 
attended to in this and every other particular."'* A 
few days later, as part of a general agreement to be 
mentioned presently, Alvarado consented to the em- 
ployment of thirty hunters who should become Mexi- 
can citizens, and half of whom if possible should be 
natives of California. Later still at San Francisco, 
Douglas applied to Vallejo for a license to hunt on 
condition of submitting to legal restrictions, and of 
paying a tax or duty on each skin taken.^' It is evi- 

shall, however, have occasion to cite it on special topics. Sir James Douglas 
was aa intelligent and educaterl gentleman. Respecting the country, its 
people, and its institutions, his observations are always sensible and just. 
He did not permit his admiration of California's natural advantages to blind 
him to the serious faults of lier people and rulers; but he wrote always in a 
spirit of kindness, which produced a marked contrast between his naiT.itive 
and those of Lieut Wilkes and other foreign visitors. Yet who can say tliat 
his humor would not have been somewhat less kindly, if, arriving two days 
later, he had been refused permission to sell his sugar, or if he had failed in 
some of his other negotiations ? 

^^Dourjlas' Voyaqe, MS., 71-3. Jan. 4, 1841, perhaps the very day of the 
interview, Alvarado writes to the juez at S. F. to use all diplomatic measures 
to cause Michel and his men to retire pending a decision. Dept. Rec.., MS., 
xii. 1. 

'^Jan. 13, 1841, Alvarado to Douglas. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 182. 
This agreement was to be submitted to the co. for approval. Feb. loth to 


dent that some kind of an arrangement wj 
quently concluded on the basis of one or both propo- 
sitions, though I have no definite record of the settle- 
ment, which was doubtless more or less satisfactory 
to all but the New Helvetian magnate.^* At any rate, 
the company's trappers did not suspend their opera- 
ations for several years. 

Douglas succeeded also in buying cows and sheep 
for the north, though he had to take them from the 
government at higher prices than the rancheros would 
have demanded. The animals were doubtless driven 
to the Columbia during the season.^'' There were 
rumors current that McKay, as representative of the 
company, was to get a large grant of land in the Sacra- 
mento Valley, on which the trappers of the interior 
would have their headquarters. Mofras goes so far 
as to state that a grant of eleven leagues was actu- 
ally made; but I lind no evidence that such was the 
fact.'^ Of course foreigners of other than English 

March llth, corresp. between Douglas and V. Id., x. 57, 77, SI. So far as 
this correspondence shows, the only point not settled was that of territory, 
Douglas wishing a free range of the whole country, and V. desiring at first to 
restrict the hunters to the region west of the Sacramento. 

'"Sutter, Pers. Remin., MS., 63-8, tells us that, thinking it wrong that 
the furs of the country should be taken away, he complained to the govt, and 
so high a duty was put on furs that the company had to abandon the field, 
and then he had it all to himself. 

" The price paid for cows was $6, and forewesS2. Dovplas' Vorjarje, MS., 
75. 4,000 sheep were bought, and also horses for the drovers, which hor;e3 
were sold to Wilkes' parly for the return trip. Simpson's J^^ari:, i. 294, 298. 
1,100 sheep from Sta Clara mission by governor's order. St. Pap., Miss., MS., 
ix. 44. 

^'Mofras, Explor., i. 456. Jan. 29, 1841, Ethan Estabrook in a letter to 
Larkin says: 'The H. B. Co. is playing the devil with the Cal. cattle, if not 
with Cal. itself. They are preparing to pui-chase on a large scale. Capt. Hum- 
phrey informs me that they want at least 100,000 cattle and half a million of 
sheep if they can be had. McKay, the chief hunter, is to have a grant in the 
Tulares of about 30 miles square. This is destined to be the headquarters 
of their enterprise in the interior. About 120 hunters, well armed and dis- 
ciplined, are now in the Tulares, and 40 or 50 came as passengers in the bark 
and proceeded from Monterey to the Tulares headed by McKay to take pos- 
session of his new estate. This company is to be increased to any number 
that may be judged requisite for hunting, collecting cattle, etc. It is very 
easy for the govt of Cal. to admit these people within its limits; but will it 
be as easy to drive them out? Picmo que no. His excellency has sold some 
thousand or two of cattle of his own and from the missions, etc. There is, 
however, quite an excitement above because he will not permit others to sell. ' 
Larhin's Doc, MS., i. 122. Estabrook, it \ii\\ be remembered, was U. S. 
consular agent. 


nationality acted from interested motives in spreading 
exaggerated rumors respecting the company's in- 
tended encroachments. 

Nevertheless it was the company's purpose to have 
a permanant trading-post in California, whatever may 
have been their political hopes and aims. To this 
end largely Douglas directed his observations as re- 
corded in his journal. His conclusions were: "If we 
enter into the California trade, I would advise that 
we should do business with persons of good character 
only. For this purpose we ought to confine our at- 
tention to a wholesale trade, supplying the country 
merchants with goods, and receiving payment from 
them in hides, tallow, and grain. By this plan we would 
be secure from great risks. A much less expensive es- 
tablishment would suffice, the presence of a vessel 
would not be constantly required, and with these ad- 
vantages we might count on doing a safe and profit- 
able business, whereas the retail trade would involve 
us in heavy expense; and we have no people compe- 
tent to carry it on and compete with the clever active 
men now engaged in it, who speak the language 
fluently and know almost every person in California. 
We ought at all events to start as wholesale dealers. 
As San Francisco is the port considered most favor- 
able from its growing trade, I think we ought either 
to erect or purchase premises at the Yerba Buena, 
the most convenient place for shipping within the 
port. One gentleman with two trusty servants might 
manage the affairs of the establishment; but it would 
be better to have two attached to it, as the presence 
of the principal agent would be occasionally wanted 
at Monterey to enter consignments and settle matters 
amicably with the custom-house authorities; as any 
mismanagement with these people would convert them 
into bitter enemies and be a source of infinite annoy- 
ance. If the company do not wish to confine our 
transactions to the port of San Francisco alone, it 
will become a matter of calculation whether the busi- 


ness can be managed to most advantage by vessels 
or bj' having establishments in the greatest seaport 
towns, such as Monterey, San Pedro, and San Diego. 
There are a few houses at Yerba Buena. If we 
intend to purchase wheat in great quantities, we 
should have a store erected at the embarcadero of 
Santa Clara, where the farmers would bring their 
wheat as we bought it, and thus prevent delays in 
shipment. We should also have 400 bags of twilled 
sacking holding exactly a fanega when tied, as the 
country people have no means of transporting grain 
from their farms to the store. "^* 

In accordance with these views, an agreement was 
made with Alvarado, by which he pledged himself to 
permit the company to engage in the California trade 
by putting one or more vessels under the Mexican 
Hag, and obtaining naturalization papers for the com- 
manders. He also promised to grant a building-lot 
at some point to be selected within the port of San 
Francisco, and to give the company's servants the 
privilege of pasturing the animals of the establish- 
ment on the commons.^" The factor's plans were 
approved on his return to Fort Vancouver in April 
or May, and Chief Factor McLoughlin immediately 
despatched his son-in-law, William Glen Rae, with 
Roliert Birnie as a clerk, to take charge of the pro- 
posed establishment at San Francisco. Douglas wrote 
to Alvarado May 24th, introducing Rae, and stating 
that the company had decided not to nationalize any 
of their v;essels this year, having none suitable for 
the purpose. He says further: "You promised to 
place the national schooner at our disposal for the 
transport of any goods sent down this year from the 
port of entry to San Francisco, and Mr Rae trusts 

" Douglas' Voyage, MS., 85-95. It is unfortunate in this connection that 
that part of the jouraal ilescrihing the visit to S. F. is not extant. 

^"Jan. 11, 1841, Douglas to Alvarado, stating the conchisions reached at 
interviews as he understood them, and asking the governor's approval in 
•wi-iting. Vallejo, Dor., MS., xxxiii. 177. Jan. 1 3th, blotter of A. 's approval. 
/d., 182. Conesp. also noted in VcUlejo, JJist. Col., MS., iv. 175-9. 


entirely to your good offices to push him through the 
difficulties of entering by a foreign vessel. I made 
no selection of land at San Francisco, but Mr Rae 
will either do so now or purchase a convenient lot 
from some of the inhabitants there. '"^^ 

Rae arrived at Monterey in August on the Cow- 
litz, which came by way of Honolulu with a cargo on 
which duties amounting to over $10,000 were paid. 
No trouble was made about the transfer to San Fran- 
cisco,^^ where the agent proceeded to buy from Jacob 
P. Leese a lot on which stood a building occupied 
from that time as store and dwelling. Mrs Rae 
joined her husband at the end of the year.^^ James 
A. Forbes acted as a kind of sub-agent for Rae at 
San Jose. Of the company's business in California 
under the new arrangement I have been able to find 
no definite records for several years; but it is under- 
stood to have been moderately prosperous.^* It is re- 

■'^ May 24, 1841, D. to A. Vallrjo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 210. He also sent 
some gifts, which he begged the gov. to accept. 

2- Aug. 23, 1841, gov. to juez at S. F. The supercargo of the Carolide (?) 
is authorized to land his goods and form his warehouse where he pleases. 
Dept. Bee, MS., xii. 17. 

^Birnie, Personal A clven., MS., 4-5, who came as clerk with Rae, tells us 
that for the 100- vara lot and the frame and adobe building, §4,600 was paid, 
half in money and half in goods. Mrs Harvey, formerly JIrs Rae, Life oj 
McLoughlin, MS., p. 22, describes the building which was near what was 
later Montgomery St, between Clay and Sacramento, as about 30x80 feet, 
divided in the middle by a hall into store and dwelling. Hittell, Hidt. S. F., 
89, says that Rae bought out Lease's business as well as his store. The ear- 
liest commimication from Rae in person which I have found is one addressed 
to Alvarado on Nov. 1st. Vcdlejo, Doc., MS., xxxiii. 238. Vallejo, Hist. 
Col., MS., iv. 179-98, says tliatthe company applied to him for permission to 
establish a protestant church at S. F., which he refused. The general de- 
fends his act at some length, stating that he was much blamed for it; but I 
find no other reference to the matter whatever. 

2* Hittell, Hist. S. F., 89-90, apparently on the authority of Leese, says: 
' Ray saw that there was an excellent opportunity to monopolize the trade of 
the bay. The great capital of the company gave them an advantage over in- 
dividual competitors, and the profits of trade would justify the attempt. Mr 
Leese, unable to compete with them, sold out his store and business to them, 
and moved to Sonoma. The American merchants had paid for their hides 
and tallow on delivery, in merchandise upon which great profits were made. 
Ray ofi'ered to pay half cash and half merchandise, and to pay the merchan- 
dise share in advance. These terms were so much better for the ranchcros 
than those of the Americans, that the latter could get but little trade, and 
the Hudson Bay Co. rapidly grew in importance; but in 1844 (?) Sir Geo. 
Simpson, the governor of the company, visited the coast, condemned Ray's 
payment in advance, and refused to approve the purchase of the house.' 


lated that Rae when in his cups, and questioned by- 
inquisitive persons, used to say it had cost his com- 
pany £75,000 to drive Bryant and Sturgis from the 
north-west trade in furs; "and they will drive you 
Yankees from Cahfornia if it costs a milhon." 

At the end of the year, on December 30th, the 
Cowlitz came back to San Francisco from the Colum- 
bia, having on board Sir George Simpson, governor- 
in-chief of the Hudson's Bay Company, John Mc- 
Loughhn, chief factor of tlie company on the Pacific 
coast, M. Duflot de Mofras, the French traveller, 
Horatio Hale of the U. S. exploring expedition, and 
Mrs Rae, wife of the agent at San Francisco.'-^ Early 
in January Simpson, accompanied by McLoughlin, 
Rae, and Forbes, crossed the ba}'- to Sonoma, spend- 
ing a night on the way with Timothy ]\Iurphy, and 
being hospitably entertained for two days by Vallejo 
and family.-^ Returning, he visited the Mission Do- 
lores, and sailed for Monterey on January 12th, arriv- 
ing three da3's later. At the capital the two distin- 
guished travellers were entertained by Spence and 
Watson, and met Ermatinger, who with his trappers 
had come down overland by the usual route. At 
Santa Barbara, on the 23d-26th, the}' were received 

Simpson in his narrative hints at no such disapproval, and indeed says really 
nothing about the company's affairs in California. Phelps, Fore and Aft; 
27 1-5, gives a version very different from that of Hittell, saying that the com- 
pany's agents could not compete with the Boston traders, whose system of 
doing busmess was different and better adapted to the condition of the 
Cahforuians. The company could not depart from its long-established sys- 
tem of cash or barter and no credit. The people had no money, and had been 
used to pay the Boston ships in hides and tallow when they could; therefore 
the company pot no customers and finally had to remove all their effects, sell- 
ing out to Melius & Howard in 1S4G for §5,000. Both Phelps and Alfred Rob- 
inson erroneously connect Rae's arrival with that of Simpson. 

^^ Voyage, arrival, and passengers. Simpson's Narr., i. 253-74; Dept. St. 
Pup., Bin. Mil., MS., Iv. 17-18. They found in port the Russian exiles of 
Ross on board the Conslantine, about 100 souls, men, women, and children, 
' all patriotically delighted to exchange the lovely climate of California for 
the ungenial skies of Sitka.' 

^''He speaks in flattering terms of Vallejo generally, but some of lus ex- 
pressious about the meals served, whicli he did not altogether admire, and 
w 111 Ji lie described to illustrate the Califomian style of living, have appar- 
ently given offence to a writer in the Sta Hosa Democrat, Jan. 2. 1875, who 
aitributes his slighting remarks to disappointment in not having succeeded 
iu making Vallejo see the beiiuties of an English protectorate! 


with great ceremony by the new bishop, and Simpson 
made known to Dona Coneepcion Argiiello under what 
circumstances Rezdnof, her lover of 1807, had died, for 
the lady had never seen Langsdorff's book. Then the 
Cowlitz sailed away for the Islands. 

Of his company's enterprise in California, Simpson 
has nothing whatever to say.^'' The vessel brought 
down some articles for Rae's establisliment, which, 
notwithstanding recent friendly relations, had to be 
carried to Monterey and sent back to Yerba Buena 
at considerable expense — a circumstance which caused 
some not very complimentary criticism of the revenue 
system and management.^^ On one subject, however, 
as is shown hy the archive records, the governor had 
occasion to act officially. Captain Sutter had natu- 
rally been displeased at the fur-hunting concessions and 
had probably made some foolish threats, as was his 
custom, of not submitting. Rae complained to Alva- 
rado on the subject in November, and Sutter was per- 
haps warned not to interfez'e;^^ but subsequently the 
Swiss adventurer tried to accomplish his purpose in 
another way by involving his rivals in ti'ouble with 
the government. In connection with his threats of 
overthrowing the Mexican power in northern Califor- 
nia, he gave out that his movement was to be sup- 
ported by the trappers, and apparently went so far as 
to send out his confidential agent, Custot, to excite 
the Canadian hunters. Vallejo sent a complaint, with 

"Alfred Robinson, Statement, MS., 17; Life in Cat, 19S-9, tells us the 
iilea was prevalent that Simpson's visit and liis efforts to gain friends were 
connected 'with a plan not only to monopolize the country's trade, but per- 
haps also to get hold of the country itself. 

^ Simpson .says there was much disapjiointment at Monterey when it was 
learned that he had no cargo of goods on which to pay duties. The fear had 
heen — he thinks withou t any reason — that the duties, if paid at S. F. , would 
fall into Vallejo's hands. According to Dept. St. Pap., MS., Iv. 17, the 
Cowlitz had refused to pay even tonnage dues, and protested against the order 
to remain at Yerba Buena only 43 hours. 

''Nov. 1, 1841, Rae to Aivarado. Sutter is determined to oppose the 
governor's permission to trap in Cal.; relying on that permission, the co. has 
sent a party of hunters, whose arrival is daily expected. Serious loss will 
result if their operations are interfered with. An order is solicited forbid- 
ding Sutter's interference, an order which, however, will be used only in case 
of absolute necessity. Vallijo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 238. 


proofs, to Simpson, who at once gave the desired 
assurance that his men would not be allowed to take 
any part in Sutter's revolutionary schemes, and sent 
corresponding orders to Ermatinger.'^ Later in 1842 
there were two parties of" the company's trappers at 
work in the country under Ermatinger and Lafrara- 
boise respectively. This was under the provisional 
permit to hunt on condition of paying duties on all 
skins obtained; and Vallejo permitted the company's 
vessel to land supplies for the men at Bodega."^ 

Sir George Simpson had sailed from Liverpool in 
March 1841, for a trip round the world. His route 
was to Halifax, Boston, and Montreal; thence direct- 
ly across the continent in British territory to Fort 
Colville, and to the mouth of the Columbia; up the 
coast by land and water to Sitka and back, inspecting 
the company's posts; to California, Sandwich'Islands, 
Sitka, and Okhotsk by sea; and thence across the con- 
tinent to St Petersburg; reaching London in October 
1842. The traveller published an interesting narra- 
tive of his journey in two volumes, devoting about 

'"Jan. 12, 1842, Simpson to Vallejo. 'My Dear General. I was this 
morning concerned and very much surprised to learn that 51r Sutor has writ- 
ten highly improper, threatening, and insulting letters to yourself and Gov. 
Alvarado; and that it is reported throughout the country that he counts upon 
the support and countenance of the H. B. Co. iu the offensive measures 
against the government which it is said he threatens. I can scarcely think 
it possible that either your Excellency or the governor can for a moment give 
credence to any report that may reach you of our having any connection or 
communication directly or indirectly with Mr Sutor, or with any one else, of 
a political character, or unfavorable or unfriendly either to yourself or the 
governor. On the contrary, I beg to assure you that we shall always be 
ready to discountenance, by every means in our power, any measures either 
hostile or offensive to the authorities and laws of the countrj', in the tran- 
quillity and prosperity of which we feel deeply interested. And in accord- 
ance with this assurance, I beg to forward a letter, left open for your peru- 
sal, addressed to Mr Ermatinger, the commander of our trapping expedition. 
Mr McLoughlin unites with me in warmest and best wishes.' Vallejo, Doc, 
MS., xi. 22. Same date, Simpson to Ermatinger, of similar purport. Id., x. 
36. Vallejo, Hist. Col., MS., iv. 111-16, also gives a fuU account of the 

"April 28, 1842, V. permits a vessel to touch at Cape Mendocino or Bo- 
dega. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 212. Sept. 23d, McLougldm to V. Thanks for 
the privilege, and details of the hunting license. Jd., xi. 264. Bidwell, Cal., 
IS4I-S, MS., 99-102, tells us that the trappers continued to drive cattle and 
horses to Oregon on their return trip each spring, more and more as the yean 
passed by and the profita of the fur trade declined. 


150 pages to California.^^ This English visitor de- 
scribes in a most charming style his own experience 
and impressions of what he saw, introducing here and 
there, with a pleasing disregard of order, sketches of 
the country's history, condition, prospects, people, and 
institutions. He had not much time, as we have seen, 
for observation and study, but he had the benefit of 
Douglas' experience as well as that of others; and 
while in his narrative he does not enter exhaustively 
into any matter, he speaks intelligently of many, fall- 
ing into no serious errors, showing no strong preju- 
dices, indulging in neither abuse nor flattery. I ap- 
pend a few quotations, which show the spirit of his 

Simpson's Map. 

observations; and I shall have occasion to allude else- 
where to his views of the country's future destiny po- 
litically, and to some of his local descriptions.^ 

'^ Simpson, Narrative of a Journey round the World during the years IS4I 
and IS43. By Sir George Simpson, Governor-in-Chief of the, Hudson's Bay 
Company's territories in North America. London, 1S47. 8vo, 2 vol. Portrait 
and map. The matter devoted to California is found in vol. i., p. 2G7-41I; 
and that country is also represented on the general map of the world showing 
the traveller's route. I deem the map worth reproduction on an enlarged 

'' 'Here on the very threshold of the country, was California in a nutshell, 
nature doing everything and man doing nothing — a text on which our whole 
sojoura proved to be little but a running commentary ... The trade of the 
whole province is entirely in the hands of foreigners, who arc almost exclu- 
sively of the English race. Of that race, however, the Americans arc more 
numerous than the British — the former naturally flocking in greater force to 
neutral ground, while tlie latter find advantageous outlets in their own na- 


Two other sources of information about California 
in 1841 I will speak of here, though their only claim 
to be connected with commercial and maritime affairs 
consists in the fact that one was a proposition to con- 
nect the two oceans by a railroad, and the other was 
a description of a visit by the captain of a trading 
vessel. The idea of building a railroad across the 
continent originated at a date not yet settled;'* but 

tional colonies. The foreigners are to the Calif omians as one to ten; while 
by their monopoly of trade and their commanil of resources, to say nothing of 
their superior energy and Intelligence, they already possess vastly more than 
their numerical proportion of political influence, exciting but little jealousy, 
most of them being Catliolics and married. . .Neither butter nor cheese nor 
any preparation of milk whatever is to be found in the province. The native 
wine that we tasted — except at Sta Barbara — was such trash as nothing but 
politeness could have induced us to swallow. 

'The population of California in particular has been drawn from the most 
indolent variety of an indolent species, being composed of superannuated troop- 
ers and retired office-holders and their descendants. . .Such settlers were not 
likely to toil for much more than what the cheap bounty of nature afforded — 
horses to ride, beef to eat, with hides and tallow to exchange for such other 
supplies as they wanted. In a word, they displayed more than the proverbial 
indolence of a pastoral people, for they did not even devote their idle hours 
to the tending of their herds. Gen. Vallejo is a good-looking man of about 
45, who has risen in the world by his own talent and energy. His father died 
about 10 years ago, leaving to a large family of sons and daughters little other 
inheritance than a degree of intelligence and steadiness almost unknown in 
the country . . . What a curious dictionary of circumlocutions a Monterey Direc- 
tory would be !. . . Alvarado, whatever ability he may have displayed in rising from 
an inferior rank to be the first man in California, has not allowed the cares of 
government to prey on his vitals, for the revolution of 1836, amid its other 
changes, has metamorphosed its champion from a thin and spare conspirator 
into a plump and punchy lover of singing, and dancing, and feasting. He 
received us very politely ... Throughout the whole of Spanish America the 
machine called a government appears to exist only for its own sake, the grand 
secret of office being to levy a revenue and consume it; public men have little or 
no object in life but to share the booty, while private individuals look with 
apathy on intrigues which promise no others change than that of the names 
of their plunderers. ..Implicit obedience and profound respect are shown by 
children, even after they are gi-own up, toward their parents. A son, though 
himself the head of a family, never presumes to sit or smoke or remain cov- 
ered in the presence of his father; nor does a daughter whether married or not 
enter into too great familiarity with the mother. With this exception, the 
Californians know little or nothing of the restraints of etiquette. ..Balls look 
more like a matter of business than anything else that is done . . .In all but the 
place of their birth the colonists of Spain have continued to be genuine Span- 
iards. . . Foreigners and natives cordially mingle together as members of one 
and the same harmonious family. The virtue of hospitality knows no bounds. 
In a word, the Californians are a happy people, possessing the means of phy- 
sical pleasure to the full, and knowing no higher kind of enjoyment.' 

S'O. M. Wozencraft writes to the S. F. Aha, Sept. 3, 18G9: 'In yester- 
day's issue you mentioned that "the idea of building a railroad across our 
continent must have occurred to many different persons as early as 1833." 
Yes, it did: I can bear witness. In 1831, one Col. Low, a professor in St 
Joseph's College at Bardsto^vn, Ky., conceived the idea, and he published his 


at the end of 1840, or early in 1841, John J. Warner, 
a resident of Cahfornia since 1831, while on a visit in 
the east, made an elaborate argument in favor of 
establishing railroad communication with his western 
home, an argument delivered apparently in the form 
of a lecture at Rochester, New York, and published 
in different papers and magazines.'^ His idea Avas 
that of a railroad to the Columbia River rather than 
to San Francisco, and the question whether it was 
the first proposition of its kind or not is one that is of 
no especial importance here.^" The chief importance 

views in pamphlet form preparatory to announcing his intention of running 
for congi'css against Ben Harding. The trustees of the college held a meeting, 
and without seeking any further evidence than the main idea presented in 
his pamphlet, declared him insane, and his seat as professor vacant.' In the 
N. Y. Tribune., Jan. 25, 1SC9, we read: 'The man who first projected the 
Pacific R. R. is nearly as numerous as his brother who first proposed Gen. 
Grant for president. He has been identified with Dr Carver, Asa Whitney, 
Col. Benton, etc. Mr John King of Dubuque, Iowa, now identifies him with 
Mr John Plumbe, a Welshman, who settled at Dubuque in 183(), corresponded 
extensively witli eastern journals, made the first survey for a R. R. westward 
from Lake Michigan, and urged the construction of a E. R. to the Pacific from 
the year 1S36 onward. He called a pri^-ate meeting in its behalf in the winter 
of 1836-7, assembled a public meeting therefor in 1S3S, and wrote largely fur 
the journals in advocacy of the project in all those years; urging the project 
in a memorial to congress during the winter of 1839-40. \Vc think Mr K. 
makes out a pretty strong case.' In divers newspapers I find it recorded that 
Lewis G. Clark, in 1838, thus wrote of the Pac. R. R. in the KnickerhocJcer 
Magazine: ' There will yet be built a railroad from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 
Let the prediction be marked, for the work will be accomplished. The great 
chain of communication will yet be made with links of iron ' ' long drawn 
out "... The reader is now living who will make the trip, 'etc. 

'^Warner returned from his visit on the Julia Ann in June. Depl. St. 
Pap., MS., XX. 19. According to Hayes' Emig. Notes, 309-10, the lecture 
was delivered at Rochester, and published in the N. Y. Journal of Commerce. 
I find it under the title of California and Oregon ; Diffusion of the Anglo-Saxon 
Race, and New Route from China to Boston, in the Colonial Magazine, v. 229- 
36, June 1841. Of the article the editor says: 'Some of his views will per- 
haps seem extravagant, but extravagance itself can scarcely equal the onward 
march of civilization and improvement on this continent within the last 50 
years, and in indulging his anticipations of the future, he is liable to no 
graver charge than at the commencement of that period would have been laid 
at the door of any man who had predicted what has since become matter of 
history. ' 

'"Warner writes: 'Let us suppose a railroad in operation from the Colum- 
bia to Boston. The distance, aUow-ing for sinuosities, cannot exceed 3,000 
miles. Allowing the rate of travel to be 15 miles per hour, it will require 10 
days; and allowing CO days (or 29 by steam) from Canton to Columbia River, 
we have 70 days from Boston to Canton; which is sooner than a ship couM 
arrive from Panama at Canton. Can there be a doubt that this will he the 
route of communication in less than CO years? Admitting a ship-canal to Ije 
made across the Isthmus of Panamd, can it compete with the Columbia route, 
when a large proportion of tlie China products which arrive at Boston find a 
mai-ket of consumption west of Boston and this market is daily increasing?' 


of the essay is as a vivid and accurate presentment of 
the natural advantages of California, based on the 
author's personal observations during a residence of 
ten years, and on quotations from other writers. The 
article must have had much influence in attracting at- 
tention to the country, the acquisition of which by 
the United States was confidently predicted and warm- 
ly advocated by the author, as is indicated by quota- 
tions which I present in another chapter.^' 

The other narrative is that of a visit to California 
this year by Henry A. Peirce, master and owner of 
the Maryland. It has never been published, but the 
original manuscript is in my possession. The author 
was a prominent business man of Honolulu, where he 
was later U. S. consul. He arrived at Monterey 
November 24th, and. after a few days went up to 
Yerba Buena on the Catcdina. Thence in December 
he made a trip to San Rafael and the region there- 
abouts, his purpose being to purchase the Novato 
Rancho, which was offered for sale at a low price. 
He gives many interesting details of a local nature 
about what is now Marin County, including the 
drunken pranks of Padre Quijas at Read's rancho. 
Returning to Monterey on the Don Quixote, Peirce 
sailed on his own vessel January 3d, and two days 
later touched at Santa Bdrbara to visit the grave of 
his brother, who had died there several years before. 
For nine days from the 18th the Maryland lay at 
anchor in San Diego Bay, the captain being engaged 
in disposing of his cargo, and his passenger, M. Du- 
flot de Mofras, in studying the missions and other in- 
stitutions of the southern district. From Mazatlan 
on February 7th, the Maryland sailed for Honolulu; 
but Peirce went to San Bias on the Victoria, and 
thence crossed the continent to Vera Cruz. The 

" See chap. x. of this volume on foreign schemes for the acquisition of 
Cal. I may mention here a two-column article on Cal. in the Boston Mercan- 
tile Journal of this year, republisheil iu the Honolulu Polynesian, i. 190. It 
is both historical and descriptive, containing nothing sufficiently striking or 
sufficiently erroneous to merit further notice. 

pj:irces joitrnal. 223 

traveller's observations on this part of his journey are 
more detailed than in California, and are interesting, 
though of course they have no place here. At Guana- 
juato he came in contact with the Santa Fe prisoners, 
whose narrative he embodies at some length in his 
own. From Vera Cruz he sailed March 4th for Ha- 
bana, on the French ship Atlantic; and had not 
reached the j^ort on March 31st, when tlie journal 
closes abruptly.^ From other sources we know, how- 
ever, that he reached the United States, and person- 
ally communicated his impressions of California to 
Webster and other high authorities at Washington. 
I shall have occasion to notice further a letter on 
Californian affairs addressed by Peirce from on board 
his vessel to a gentleman residing in the Hawaiian 

'* Peirce's Journal of a passage from Honolulu, Oahn, to the coast of CnU- 
fomia and Mexico in the hrig 'Maryland.' MS., 4°, 41 p. This journal is 
preceded in the same volume by Peirce's journal, or log, of a voyage on the 
schooner Morse, starting from Boston April 21, 1839, via Cape Horn and Val- 
paraiso in ISO days to Honolulu, 7.3 p. The same volume contains also some- 
what extensive records and genealogical tables of Mr Peirce's family. The 
author, who had visited Cal. in 1828, and was a resident of S. F. in 18S0-4, 
has contributed other material for my use. 
Hist. Cm... Vol. IV. 16 




Progress at New Helvetia — The Fort — Indians— Industries — Vioget's 
M.iP — Sdtter's Land Grant — Visitors— Purchase of Ross — Views 
OF Peirce and Simpson — Sutter's Troubles— Debts— Trade and 
Trapping — Vallejo and Sutter— Threats of Revolt— Letter to 
Leese— U. S. Exploring Expedition — The Fleet — Published Re- 
sults — Operations in California— Ringgold on the Sacramento — 
Emmons' Overland Trip from Oregon— Map — Wilkes' Narrative 
— Serious Defects— Quotations — Duflot de Mofras — His Move- 
ments—His Experience at Monterey, Yerba Buena, and Sonoma — 
His Character — His Book — Map. 

Captain Sutter's acts, and the progress of his 
estabUshment on the Sacramento, cannot bo treated 
as a purely local affair, but must be presented with 
the current annals of the department, so closel}^ are 
they connected with the general subject of immigra- 
tion and the growth of foreign influence in Califor- 
nia. The adventurous German can hardly be re- 
garded as a political missionary, "determined to rear 
the standard of American freedom in this distant and 
secluded dependency of imbecile Mexico,"^ as some 
of his admirers are wont to picture him; for his aim 
was to make a fortune, and it mattered little to him 
whether he did it in the role of Yankee pioneer, 
Swiss immigrant, French ofScer, Mexican alcalde, or 
cosmopolitan adventurer; yet all the same he did by 
building up his frontier trading-post contribute very 

' Upham's Notes., 318-22, and similar expressions often repeated liy news- 
paper writers. 



materially to hasten the success of American occu- 

Progress at N"ueva Helvecia in 1841-2 was for the 
most part in the same directions that have been indi- 
cated in the annals of the preceding year.^ Work 
was continued chiefly by Indian laborers on the fort, 
which had been begun in 1840, and was completed 
probably in 1844. Wilkes found the Indians at work 
on the walls in the autumn of 1841, but there is no 
record to show the state of the structure at an}^ time 
before its completion. The fort may be described, 
with sufficient accuracy for my present purpose, as an 
adobe wall eighteen feet high and three feet thick, 
enclosing a rectangular space of about 500 by 150 
feet. At the south-east and north-west corners pro- 
jecting bastions, or towers, rose above the walls of 
the rectangle, and contained in their upper stories 
cannon Avhich commanded the gateways in the centre 
of each side except the western. Loop-holes were 
pierced in the walls at different points. Guns were 
mounted at the main entrance on the south and else- 
where, and the north side seems also to have been 
protected by a ravine. An inner wall, with the inter- 
mediate space roofed over, furnished a large number 
of apartments in the Californian style, and there were 
ether detached buildings, both of wood and adobe, in 
the interior." Some of the wooden buildings were 
brought from Ross. The armament, as early as 1842, 
consisted of two brass field-pieces and a dozen or more 
iron guns of different kinds, brought from Honolulu 
and purchased from different vessels. Sutter states 
that he bought only one gun, one of the brass pieces, 

^ See chap. v. of this vol. 

' See \iews and descriptions of the completed buildings in Upham's Xotes, 
318-22; Ferry, CaL, 97; Ilastiags' Emigrant Guide, 102-3; Lancey's Cruise of 
the Dale; Bryant's What ISaw in Cat., 267-70; Buffam's Gold Regions, 04-5; 
Bevere's Tour of Duty, 74; and many other publications. Mofras, ^x/j/or., 
i. 457-60, tells us that the wall was 5 feet thick, and strengthened with 
beams; that each face of the quadrilateral was 100 m^trct; and that there 
was an exterior gallery running round the wall — but the structure was far 
from complete at the time of this author's visit. 


frrim the Russians; Bid well and others tliink more 
were obtained. 

I find no evidence of serious trouble with the Indians 
in these years;* indeed, Sutter seems to have had re- 
markable success in maintaining friendly relations v^ith 
tlie natives, and in inducing them to work, not only 
for himself, but for friends in other parts of the coun- 
try to whom he sent them.^ Little progress if any 
was made in agriculture before the end of 1842; as 
we have seen, Sutter had no wheat with which to 
make his first payment to the Russians. His live- 
stock, however, had gained in number both from the 
natural increase, and especially from the 1,700 cattle, 
900 horses, and 900 sheep purchased at Ross.® Trap- 
ping was not successful in 1841, on account of the de- 
fective traps and want of skill; but in 1842 the result 
was more encouraging, and beaver-skins began to be 
sent down the river in considerable quantities to pay 
the more urgent of the captain's delators. The only 
other products of New Helvetian industries which 
were put to a similar use, or exchanged for such 
needed supplies as could not be obtained on credit, 
were deer-fat and wild-grape brandy.'' No lists of in- 

*ln Dept. St. Pap., MS., xvii. S8-93, Sutter reports to Alvarado (1811) 
that the Cosumnes and Cosolumnes had been plotting against him, trying 
first to entice him, by stories of a white man living in the mountains, to go with 
them, and later to entice away his Indians. In Sutter Co. //w<., 13, is men- 
tioned Sutter's pursuit and capture of a chief near Marysville in 18-11. 

'Aug. 16, 1841, Sutter regrets that he cannot send certain Indians. Those 
from S. Rafael and Yerba Buena have not come back; those in the south are 
fighting among themselves; and the Sagayacumnes come no more. There- 
fore he is short of workmen; but will have some to send next trip. Sutler- 
SuHol Corresp., MS., 9. July 24, 1842, has made peace with the Feather 
River people, who will pick grapes for him. Id., 16. Mofras found about 
100 natives at work. Explur., i. 4.57-60. 

^Willces, Narr., v. 190, gives the number of Sutter's live-stock — before 
the purchase probably — as 2,500 cattle, 1,000 horses, and 1,000 sheep. Mo- 
fras, Explor., i. 457-GO, has it 4,000 oxen, 1,200 cows, 1,500 horses, and 
2,000 sheep. 

'Jan. 9, 1S41, his trappers about to start out, and despite past ill success 
is confident he will have plenty of furs soon. Sutler-Sunol Corresp.. MS., 3. 
Oct. 19th, will have some brandy to send soon. /(/., 11. March 24, 1842, 
May 1st, etc., sends 140 beavcr-skius at §2.50 pr pound, and 30 land-otter 
skins at §2.50 each. Beaver-hunting will be poor this season; besides, his 
head hunter steals the skins to sell to Marsh and others. The Columbia 
River trappers also steal and trade for his furs. Id., 12-13. Deer-fat sent and 


habitants or employes at this place are extant; but I 
suppose that b}^ the end of 1842 there must have been 
from thirty to forty white men connected in one way 
or another with tlie estabhshment, since many of the 
overland immigrants were employed by Sutter for a 
time until they could find an opportunity for settle- 
ment. The names of most may be found in lists given 
elsewhere. Two or three were already settled on 
lands in this region.* It would seem, however, that 
more foreigners came to the fort at times than the 
captain desired to retain in his service.^ 

Jean J. Vioget had spent some time at New Hel- 
vetia, probably in the early part of 1841, and was 
employed by Sutter to make a survey and map of the 
region, to be used in his application for the grant of 
land that had been promised. I consider this map, as 
the first ever made of the Sacramento region, worthy 
of reproduction. Armed with the diseho, Sutter went 
down to the capital in May or June for his grant.'" 
His petition to Alvarado was dated June 15th,''' and 

promised. Id., 14, etc. July 24th, is going to make brandy on a large scale. 
Id., 15. Wilkes, Narr., v. 101, speaks of the trappers and of a distillery 
for making 'a kind of pisco.' Yates, Sketch, MS., 15, says the distillery was 
in charge of a German named Uber, and makes a pan on the connection of bis 
name and the xiva, or grape. 

* These were John Sinclair at Grimes' rancho on the American River, 
Nicholas AUgeier on Feather Eiver, Theodore Cordua at MarysriUe, and Wm 
Gordon on Cache Creek. Sutter Co. Hut., 21-2. John Yates, who com- 
manded Sutter's schooner, and who writes what he calls a Sketch of a 
Journey in 1S42 from Sacramento, Cat., through the Valley, MS., large fol., 
35 p., represents himself as having visited in succession Sinclair, Allgeier, 
Hock Farm, Dutton and Neal on Butte Creek, and Lassen 25 miles bej'oud, 
there being a house and live-stock at each place; but Dutton, Neal, and Las- 
sen arc understood not to have settled here until a later period. I do not 
propose, however, to go into details about the earliest settlers at present. 

"May 10, 1842, he writes: ' Je commence ddonner le cong^ d beaucoupdes 
strangers, pai-ceque je prefire do n'avoir pas autaut en mon service, paice- 
qu'il y a bien peu parmi eux qui sontbon. ' Sutter-Suilol Corresp., MS.. l.S. 

'" April 21, 1841, ■n-ill see Sufiol in person the iie.xt trip. Apr. 30th, if he 
comes to S. JosiS, will Sufiol lend him a horse to go to Monterey? The next 
letter is dated Aug. 2d, at N. Helvetia, after his return. Sutler-Suilol Corr<Kp. , 
MS., 4-5. 

" In it he states ' that since he first arrived in this country, being desirous 
of cultivating a part of the many vacant lands which it possesses, he solicited 
and ohtainerl.your sujierior approbation to establish himself ontlie land wliicli 
ho now occupies, accomp.anied by some industrious families who chose to fol- 
low him. In consequence of assiduous labcr, his establishment now promises 
flattering hopes to himself and advantages to the department iu general; for. 


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■-.^''evA HELVETIA.-' 

^ — ~__^^* Geiliie ' 



Map of New Helvetia, 1841. 


on the 18th the grant was made in clue form to Sut- 
ter, who " has sufficiently accredited his laboriousness, 
good conduct, and other qualifications required in such 
cases; and has already in advance manifested his great 
efforts, his constant firmness, and truly patriotic zeal 
in favor of our institutions, by reducing to civilization 
a large number of savage Indians, natives of those 
frontiers." The land granted was eleven square 
leagues within the tract designated on the map, 
bounded on the north by the Three Peaks and lati- 
itude 39° 41' 45"; on the east by the "margins of 
Feather River;" on the south by latitude 38° 49' 32"; 
and on the west by the Sacramento River — the eleven 
leagues not including lands, flooded by the river. The 
conditions, besides those of usual formality, were that 
"he shall maintain the native Indians of the different 
tribes of those points in the enjoyment and liberty ot 
their possessions, without molesting them, and he shall 
use no other means of reducing them to civilization 
but those of prudence and friendly intercourse, and 
not make war upon them in any way without previ- 
ously obtaining authority from government." ^^ 

This grant of New Helvetia was made in good faith, 
with due regard to the requisite legal forms, and with 
as much attention to accuracy of location as was cus- 
tomary at the time. Its validity was subsequently 

stimulated by the example of his followers, industrioua ideas are awakening 
in the other inhabitants of this country, and at the same time the place, from 
its situatiou, serves as a strong barrier to the incursions of the barbarous tribes 
to the settlements, and as a scliool of civilization, both to the barbarous na- 
tives and to those subjected to the missions, who, in the long period of time 
that they have been under subjection, have never been useful members to so- 
ciety in general, as the undersigned has now the satisfaction to know tliat 
they will become, owing to his indefatigable labors. For all these reasons, 
the undersigned, in order to aggrandize his enterprise and establish twelve 
good families, is under the necessity of requesting of the goodness of your 
Excellency that you be pleased to grant him eleven leagues in the estaljlish- 
ment named Nueva Helvecia, situated towards the north, in exact accordance 
with the land designated on the plat,' etc. 

'-The petition and grant have often been printed in connection with va- 
rious legal proceedings; but for them and the map I refer the reader only to 
the case of Ferris vs Coover, in Col. lieports, x. 5S9-640. Cases growing out 
of this grant before the laud commission were noa. 6, 92, 248, 633, (537, and 


sustained by the U. S. government, although the orig- 
inal grant had been destroyed in one of the Sacra- 
mento fires. A variety of circumstances, however, in 
addition to the ordinary difficulties connected with 
'floating' grants, conspired to cause no end of litigation 
in later years, into the particulars of which this is not 
the place to enter. Such circumstances were Vioget's 
error in fixing latitudes, Alvarado's apparent blunder 
in copying one of the latitudes from the map to the 
document, Sutter's peculiarities of temperament which 
led him to dispose of more land than even the pro- 
verbial elasticity of a Mexican grant could be made to 
cover, the foundation of a large town upon the tract, 
and the large number of owners and claimants to be 

On the 23d of August Lieutenant Ringgold of 
Wilkes' expedition arrived at Sutter's Fort, coming 
up the river in boats,^^ and September 4th the same 
party called here again on their return. October 19th 
Lieutenant Emmons of the same expedition arrived 
with his overland party from Oregon, a part of the 
company spending two daj^s at the fort. With this 
company from Oregon came a small party of immi- 
grants, some of whom, as Sutter states, had crossed 
the continent with him and came to enter his service.'* 
Wilkes acknowledges with thanks the kind attentions 
shown to members of his expedition by Sutter, who 
was found to be a man of frank and prepossessing 
manners, of much intelligence, conversant with sev- 
eral languages, "and withal not a little enthusiastic." 
The latitude of the fort was found to be 38° 33' 45"; 
and a brief description is given of the establishment 
and its surroundings. The prediction is also offered 

"Sutter's Diarn, 3; Sept. 1st, Sutter wi-ites that the party is exploring up 
the river, and he is very curious to learn what they Iiave discovered. Sutler- 
Suilol, Corresp.. MS., 10. 

"Oct. 19, 1S41, Sutter mentions the arrival, Siii'iol Corresp., MS., 11. In 
his Diary, 3. Sutter gives the date as Oct. 18th, and, ever ready to claim all 
possible credit, even for small services, st.ites that he despatched one of the 
parties down the river in his vessel; though it appears from Wilkes' narrative 
that they went down in the Vincennes' boat. 


that "it will not be long before it becomes in some i-e- 
spects an American colony."'^ 

It was at the beginning of September, while Ring- 
gold's party was in the valley, that a schooner arrived 
from Ross with Manager Rotchef on board to nego- 
tiate for the sale which has already received sufficient 
notice.^* The bargain was closed during the first half 
of September, though the contract was not formally 
signed until December; and at the end of October, 
Sutter sent a party, including Livermore, Merritt, and 
Walker, to drive his newly acquired live-stock across 
the country,'' sending Ridley about the same time to 
take charge of his interests on the coast. Bidwell 
succeeded Ridley early in 1842. The purchase in- 
cluded the Russian schooner, which was rechristened 
the Sacramento, and made frequent trips to and from 
Bodega, bringing back all of the property that was 
movable and could be utilized, including several of 
the wooden buildings, which were set up within the 
walls of the fort at New Helvetia, ^^ 

It was on September 1st that there arrived at the 
fort M. Duflot de Mofras,^" whose visit to California 
in general I shall notice later in this chapter. Mofras 
gives a brief historical and descriptive sketch of Sut- 
ter's establishment, to which — partly on account of 
the captain's French antecedents, for Sutter still 
talked of his twelve years' service in the royal guard — 
he attaches much importance. Sutter's plans, as 

55 Wilhes' Narr., v. 189-94, 204-7, 262-3. 

^^ See chap. vi. of this vol. 

•' In his Diarii, 3, Sutter tells us that 100 head of cattle were drowned in 
fording the Sacramento. He gives the date of sending the men as Sept. 28th, 
but this is doubtless an error of a mouth, since he writes Oct. 19th of the 
trouble he anticipates in moving the animals, SuUer-Sufiol Corresp., MS., 11; 
and Joel P. WaUcer, Nai-rative, MS., 12, who came with Emmons on Oct. 
19th, tells us that lie accompanied the party to Ross. It was very likely 
even later than October. 

'»Jolin Bidwell, VaU/ornia, IS4I-S, MS., 85, says that Sutter attempted 
unsuccessfully to remoTc the heavy threshing-floors by towing them as rafts 
behind his schooner, via S. F. Mofras, Explor., i. 468, gives a picture of a 
house like those thus removed. 

"SuUer-Sii)lol Corresp., MS., 10, where he is spoken of as M. le Comte 
de Motraa. 


made known to this traveller, included not only the 
exportation of grain, vegetables, butter, and cheese, 
but the cultivation on a large scale of rice, cotton, and 
indigo on the flats, and of grapes, olives, and other 
fruits on the higher lands. "His intention," writes 
Mofras, "is to grant rent-free at first some lots of 
land to colonists who may come to settle near his es- 
tablisliment. Meanwhile, his white workmen, thirty 
men, Germans, Swiss, Canadians, Americans, Eng- 
lish, and French, almost all occupied as wood-cutters, 
smiths, carpenters, or trappers, receive two or there 
dollars a day besides their board, paid part in money 
and part in goods. All these men live with Indian 
or Californian women, and the colony contains not 
less than two hundred souls. . . . M. Sutter can trade 
independently of the custom-house or the Mexican 
authorities; he can receive people or goods either by 
land from Bodega, or by sending his schooner there. 
M. Sutter has served in the French army; in Cali- 
fornia he is considered a Frenchman; he lives in a 
territory which barely belongs in name to Mexico; he 
has about him, and is working to bring about him, 
Canadians and Frenchmen. In a few years New 
Helvetia will become a considerable establishment, 
through which will pass caravans coming by land from 
Canada, from the Columbia, and from the United 
States. We think," and it may be suspected that the 
writer does not express his thought quite fully, "that 
it would be very useful for M. Sutter to realize the 
desire which he has often expressed to us of having 
with him some French missionaries to civilize the 
Indian tribes about him."'^° 

In November a party of over thirty immigrants ar- 
rived by the overland route, as will be fully related 
in the next chapter. One of the men, James John, 
came in advance of the party to the fort, arriving 
November 3d; and many of his companions soon 
came from San Josd and Marsh's rancho, to live and 

20 Mofras, Explor., i. 457-66. 


work for a time at New Helvetia. All of this party 
have testified to the kind hospitality of Sutter's re- 
ception, and his zealous efforts in their behalf In 
the only contemporary published narrative, John Bid- 
well bore the same testimony, but gave no descriptive 
or historical details about the Sacramento establish- 
ment.^^ Henry A. Peirce, visiting the country late 
in November, did not go to New Helvetia, and had 
nothing to say of it or its owner in his journal; but 
he had occasion to make some inquiries about the 
man in consequence of a proposition from Sutter to 
purchase goods on credit, a proposition which was de- 
clined.^^ Sir George Simpson, the only other visitor 
of 1841-2 whose remarks on this subject require men- 
tion, did not go to Sutter's place as he had intended 
to do; and, "besides having thus lost the opportunity 
of seeing a little of the interior," he writes, "we had 
reasons of a less romantic character for regretting 
our disappointment; as Sutter, a man of a speculative 
turn and good address, had given to the Hudson's 
Bay Company, in common with many others less 
able to pay for the compliment, particular grounds 
for taking an interest in his welfare and prosperity. 
He had successively tried his fortune in St Louis, 
among the Shawnee Indians, in the Snake country, 
on the Columbia River, at the Sandwich Islands, at 
Sitka, and at San Francisco, uniformly illustrating 
the proverb of the rolling stone, but yet generally 
contriving to leave anxious and inquisitive friends 
behind him. Sutter was now living on a grant of 
land about sixty miles long and twelve broad, trap- 
ping, farming, trading, bullying the government, and 
lotting out Indians for hire. If he really has the 
talent and courage to make the most of his posi- 

^BidwelVn Journey to Cal., 20. 

" Feb. 1, 1842, Peirce to Thoa Cumminga of Honolulu. ' I think Sutter's 
prospects are good. Since leaving S. F. I have heard much to the prejudice 
of his character. Some transactions of his in the U. S. and in New Mexico, if 
true as related, would prove him to be a man not to be trusted and without 
honor. I did not see him.' Peirce's Bough Sketch, MS., 78-9, 84. 


tion, he is not unlikely to render California a second 
Texas. For fostering and maturing Brother Jon- 
athan's ambitious views, Captain Sutter's establish- 
ment is admirably situated. Besides lying on the 
dii^ect route between San Francisco on the one hand 
and the Missouri and Willamette on the other, it vir- 
tually excludes the Californians from all the best 
parts of their own country. Hitherto the Spaniards 
have confined themselves to the comparatively barren 
slip of land from ten to forty miles in width, which 
lies between the ocean and the first range of moun- 
tains; and beyond this slip they will never penetrate 
with their present force, if Sutter or any other adven- 
turer can gather round him a score of such marksmen 
as won Texas on the field of San Jacinto. "^^ 

Thus established on a princely domain in the val- 
ley of his own choice granted without price by a gen- 
erous government, clothed with legal authority over 
the settlers on his estates, successful in converting the 
savages into laborers, owner of large herds and flocks 
to be paid for in the future, with a band of trappers 
at work for him in a region rich in furs, with a distil- 
lery yielding a profitable product of brandy, and with 
a constant incoming stream of immigration which was 
vastly increasing his strength and was sure to give 
great value to his lands, it would seem that the mag- 
nate of New Helvetia, looking back to the time less 
than ten years before when he landed a bankrupt ad- 
venturer on the shores of the New World, must have 
contemplated his present position with pride and con- 
tentment. Yet he had still some petty annoyances 
whicli often ruffled the serenity of his temper, and 
caused him to afiect the role of a much-abused per- 

The Russian debt gave him but little trouble as 
yet; but other creditors were at times clamorous 
for paj-ment, and not always ready to admit the force 
of his ever ready excuses, or to be satisfied with his 

^'Simpson's JVarr., L 325-7. 


limited instalments of brand}^, deei'-fat, and beaver- 
skins."* Sutter aspired to success as a merchant as 
well as a liacendado ; and he sent John Sinclair to Hon- 
olulu to obtain consignments of goods on credit, mak- 
ing a similar application to Captain Peirce, and prob- 
ably to other visiting traders; but the Hawaiian 
traders, for reasons doubtless satisfactory to them- 
selves, refused their cooperation, and Sutter was 
obliged to curb his ambition in this direction.-' His 
trapping operations were rendered less profitable by 
those of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the gov- 
ernment declined to prohibit the latter so long as they 
proceeded in accordance with the laws and their 
licenses. This caused Sutter, as already related, "'' to 
stir up a quarrel between the trappers and the govern- 
ment; and for his failure and his wrongs in this direc- 
tion, he threw the blame upon Vallejo, of whose 
jealousy and efforts to annoy him he did not fail to in- 
form each visitor to the fort, mentioning also the same 
subject in his later statements.^^ 

^'It is only in the case of Sunol that anything is known of the details 
of Sutter's troubles in this direction. In all Sutter's letters of lS-H-2, 
SuHot Corrcsp., MS., passim, there are few in which be does not promise 
early settlement; many in which he asks for new favors and credit; and some 
iu which he announces the sending of skins. He continually complains of the 
men, not named, who are working or talking against him. The letters reveal 
much of Sutter's real character. 6,000 ft of lumber were among his new pur- 
chases. July 24, 1842, be speaks of debts to Sufiol's brothers-in-law also. 
Sept. 8th, Iiopes that Sunol will not carry out his tlireat of coming to take 
away his live-stock by force. Oct. 7th, offers some cattle in payment. The 
man who represented him as saying that he only wrote letters to Sunol to 
pass away the time, and that he would pay when he was ready, is branded as 
an infamous liar. July 22, 1842, Isabel Sepiilveda at S. Kafael. Complains 
that Sutter owes her money. Wishes Salvador to go and bring him a pris- 
oner to Sonoma. Vallejo, Con-eapondencia , MS., 95. Aug. 20th, Vioget de- 
mands an embargo on Sutter's schooner until he shall settle with Ciiis, but 
the general declines to meddle in civil affairs. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 249, 
231. In his flist. Cal., MS., iv. 283^, Vallejo says he had many such appli- 
cations, and by his refusals to act caused much offence. 

2» In a letter of July 24, 1842, he says the house at the Islands which was 
to have sent him merchandise had failed, and thereby greatly injured him, 
mucli to the delight of his foes. Sutter-Sunol Cori-exp., MS., l.j. Other 
troubles are shown by the following references: March 6, 1841, juez of S. 
Josd to prefect. Sutter proposes to recover stolen horses on shares. S. Josi, 
Arch. , MS., iii. 44. March ISth, Sutter has been seen to sell 40 stolen horses 
to the Columbia Co. Id. , iii. 45. 

^^See chap. viii. of this vol. 

"Sutter's Diary, 3; Id., Pers. Bemin., MS., 91. He says Vallejo was his 


Yallejo, as tlie reader is aware, had grounds for 
dissatisfaction with some of the circumstances under 
which Alvarado had permitted Sutter to settle on the 
Sacramento, and outside of poHtical aspects of the 
matter it is not unlikely that he may have looked 
with sometliing of personal jealousy on the progress 
of so powerful a rival; yet there is no evidence be- 
yond Sutter's vague charges that he indulged in any 
petty manifestations of jealousy or subjected Sutter 
to any other annoyance than that of complying to 
some extent with the laws of the land. Politically, 
Vallejo had understood from the first the dangers to 
Mexican rule to be apprehended from such an estab- 
lishment as that of New Helvetia. A man of his in- 
telligence could not be blind to a state of things so 
apparent to every foreign visitor; and in fulfilment 
of his duties as a Mexican oflScer, he frankly commu- 
nicated his views to the government. ^^ Sutter, on his 

enemy and rival, and took every opportunity to annoy him; but his only de- 
finite charge is that the general demanded passports from his men going over-' 
land to Ross, and required the cattle to be diiven through Sonoma for exam- 
ination. Wilkes' Narr., v. 192, says: 'There was much apprehension on the 
part of some that the present governor of the district west of New Hel- 
vetia felt jealous of the power and influence that Capt. Suter was obtaining 
in the country; and it was thought that had it not been for the force which 
the latter could bring to oppose any attempt to dislodge him, it would have 
been tried. In the mean time Capt. Suter is using all his energies to render 
himself impregnable.' Elsewhere Wilkes doubts, and with much reason, that 
the feeling between Sutter and Vallejo was as bitter as was pretended. Mo- 
fras, Uxplor., i. 404, says: 'Le commandant Vallejo, qui a la pretention de 
gouvei-ner sans contrOle le pays situ 6 sur la rive droite du fleuve, u'a pas vu 
sans unc vive jalousie I'accroissement de la Nouvelle Helvetic; il a meme cher- 
ch(5 i, susciter quelques diiEcultes i, M. Sutter.' 

28 Nov. 17, 1841, V. to Alvarado. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 349. Jan. — , 
1842, Id. to min. of war. Id., xi. 4. He states that Sutter, styling his place 
the Fort of New Helvetia, and himself governor of that fortress, exercises ar- 
bitrary and despotic power, wages war on the natives, forces them to work 
for him, shoots them without formalities or the approval of the govt; receives 
foreigners, no matter whence or how they come, not obliging them to present 
themselves to the authorities and sometimes not even reporting their arrival; 
and finally he makes seditious threats, as is proven by the enclosed original 
letter (that to Leese probably, to be noticed presently). Alvarado, however, 
assures the sup. govt on Jan. 11, 1842, that Vallejo's objections have no legal 
foundation, as Sutter has only S men, all with proper cartas. Dept. liec, 
MS., xiii. 12. Oct. 15, 1842, VaUejo, in a private note to Micheltorena, spealcs 
again of Sutter's foolish attempts to make trouble. Says he has force enough 
to oust Sutter, and the H. B. Co. has offered to aid in such a work, but he 
has disliked to interfere with a prosperous settlement so much needed iu the 
country. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 273. The 'King's Orphan,' Visit, 11, who was 


part, doubtless made some pretty loud threats of re- 
volt against the authorities, and to give his threats 
weight, talked of support from France, which derived 
a degree of plausibility from the visit of a French 
diplomatic officer at this time. Mofras asserts that 
in November 1841 Sutter wrote to Vallejo that unless 
his annoyances ceased, he would hoist the French flag 
and march on Sonoma. Bidwell notes the current 
report, confirmed by Sutter himself, that he had an- 
nounced in writing his ability and readiness in case of 
interference, not only to defend himself, but to chas- 
tise the Californians. I append quotations from a 
somewhat remarkable letter addressed by Sutter to 

at the fort in 1843, says that Sutter in his trapping operations 'was greatly in- 
terfered -with by the H. B. Co., who sent their hunters upon his grounds. 
He complained to the proper authorities, but they paid no attention to the 
matter. His enemies, not content with thus injuring him, informed the sus- 
picious Mex. govt that he was concocting revolutionary plans, and that he 
encouraged deserters and other disorderly people to Uve at his settlement. ' 
Sutter explained that a condition of his grant was to draw settlers, and there- 
fore he had receired the lawlrss stragglers. 'The govt was not satisfied. 
Urged on by envious neighbors, it was jirompted to send to Sutter a commit- 
tee of investigation. The captain was so enraged at the idea of such a thing 
that he treated the committee with great contempt, and said he could defend 
himself. . .Whereupon the govt threatened to send a force, but thought better 
of the matter when they found out the character of the men and of the Rus- 
sian armament; but annoyed him with legal suits, and after a gi'eat deal of 
difficulty he was acquitted of any treasonable design against the govt.' This 
of course all came from Sutter himself. 

'^ Mofras, Explor., i. 464; BidwdVs Cal. IS4IS, MS., S2-5. Hastings, 
Em^rj. Guide, 103, has it that a spy was sent to N. Helvetia, and Sutter, sus- 
specting his purpose, sent him away, with a message to the effect that if Mex- 
ico wished to expel him she was at liberty to try it — whereupon the govt 
decided to let him alone! Writing to Leese on Nov. 8, 1841, after some pro- 
posals for buying Leese's part of certain launches — on credit of course — Sut- 
ter continues: ' Very curious Rapports came to me from belaw; but the poor 
wretches dont know what they do. I explained now Mr Spence to explain 
these ignorant people what would be the consequence if they do injure me, 
the first french fregate who came here will do me justice. The people dont 
know me yet, but soon they will find out what I am able to do. It is to late 
now to drive me aut the country, the first step they do against me is that I 
will make a declaration of Independence and proclaim California for a Repub- 
lique independent of Mexico. I am strong now, one of my best friends a 
German gentleman came from the Columbia River with plenty people, an 
other party is close by from Missouri ... I am strong enough to hold me till 
the couriers go to the Waillamet for raise about 60 or 70 good men, an other 
party I would dispatch to the mountains and call the hunters and Shawnecs 
and Delawares with which I am very well acquainted, the same party have 
to go to Missouri and raise about 2 or 300 man more. That is my inten- 
tion, Sir, if they let me not alone. If they will give mo satisfaction and pay 


Sutter had no feeling whatever of loyalty to his 
adopted nation, or to the government that had treated 
him so generously, and under which he held office; 
and he would without hesitation have raised the 
standard of revolt in behalf of France, or any other 
nation that could advance his personal interests; yet 
it is not to be supposed that he had at this time any 
definite plan or intention of political conspiracy. 
Harassed by his creditors, partially thwarted in some 
of his schemes for making a fortune, egotistically 
looking down upon the Californians as inferior beings, 
and annoyed that he was not allowed to control the 
whole country as arbitrarily as he did New Helvetia 
— he indulged in threats that had not much signifi- 
cance, merely to relieve his mind in moments of de- 
pression, and, as Sir George Simpson expressed it, to 
'bully' the government. In politics as in commercial 
and industrial enterprises, Sutter always — as the dis- 
tinguished English traveller might have said but did 
not — "bit off more than he could chew." 

I have had occasion more than once in recording 
the annals of past years to note the arrival on the 
coast of scientific exploring expeditions fitted out by 
difierent European powers and resulting in published 
narratives, in which this country and its afl:airs were 
more or less fully described. The first expedition of 

the expenses what I had to do for ray security here, I will be a faithful Mex- 
ican; but when this Eascle of Castro should come here a very warm and 
harty welcome is prepared for him. 10 guns have well mounted for protect 
the fortress and two field-pieces. I have also about 50 faithfuU Indians which 
shot their musquet very quik. The wole day and night we are under 
arms, and you know that foreigners are very expensive, and for this trouble 
I will be payed when a french fregate come here. I wish you to tell the com- 
audante general that I wished to be his friend, and that I am very much 
oblidgcd to him for his kindness when my people passed Sonoma. If he would 
join ua in such a case I should like it very much. But all is out question so 
long they let me alone and trouble me not, but I want security from the gov- 
ernment for that.' Vultejo, Doc, JMS., x. 332. Vallejo, Hist. Cal, MS., iv. 
lGS-75, cites this letter mainly to show that Sutter's much-talked-of Ameri- 
can patriotism was of later date. Dec. 21, 1841, Jan. 24, 1842, Rudesindo 
Bcrreyesa to Vallejo, warning him of Sutter's hostile plans. Hopes S. will 
raise the French flag, in which case Solano and his men will make quick work 
of him and his grand fort! Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 10; Id., Coi-reKp., MS., GO-1. 


this kind under the flag of the United States made its 
appearance in 1841. As in other similar cases, this ex- 
pedition requires but few details re.specting its organ- 
ization, operations, and results, except so far as they 
bear directly upon the subject of this work. A fleet 
of six vessels under the command* of Lieutenant 
Charles Wilkes, having on board about six hundred 
men, including over eighty officers and a scientific corps 
of twelve,^" sailed from Hampton Roads in August 
1838. The general route followed in accordance with 
instructions was: to Brazil; round Cape Horn to 
Chile; to Oceanica; to the Hawaiian Islands; to the 
north-west coast of America, and California; and 
thence homeward round Cape Good Hope. Tlae ar- 
rival at New York was in June 1842. A narrative 
of the voj^age was written by Wilkes, the commander, 
Avho also wrote a volume on meteorolog3^ Of the 
scientific corps, Dana, Pickering, Hale, Peale, and 
Brackenridge each produced one or more volumes in 
his special department. Still other volumes were ed- 
ited, from observations and collections made by the 
explorers, by other competent men selected by the 
Smithsonian Institution. The result was a magnifi- 
cent set of twenty-eight volumes in quarto and folio, 
illustrated with fine engravings and colored plates, 

'" The vessels with commanders, lieutenants, and scientists at the depart- 
ure were as follows — there being frequent changes later, and those names 
marked with a star (*) not having reached California: Vincennes, sloop of 
war, 780 tons; Charles Wilkes, com.; lieutenants, Thos T. Craven,* Overton 
Carr, Robert E. Johnson, James Alden, and Wm L. Maury; scientific corps, 
Charles Pickering, naturalist, Jos Drayton, artist, J. D. Brackenridge, asst 
botanist, John G. Brown, instrument maker, John W. W. Dyes, asst taxider- 
mist, Jos P. Couthouy,* naturalist. Peacock,* sloop of war, 650 tons, Wm L. 
Hudson, com.; lieutenants, Samuel P. Lee,* W. M. Walker, Geo. F. Emmons, 
O. H. Pen-y; scientists, James D. Dana, mineralogist, T. R. Peale, natural- 
ist, Horatio Hale, philologist, F. L. Davenport,* interpreter. Porpoixe, 
gun-brig, 230 tons; Cadwalader Ringgold, com. ; lieutenants, M. G. L. Clai- 
borne,* H. J. Hartstein,* John B. Dale.* Relief,* store-ship; A. K. Long, 
com.; lieutenants, R. F. Pinkney,* A. L. Case, Jos A. Underwood;* ^Vm 
Rich, botanist. Sea-Gull,* tender or pilot-boat; Jas W. E. P>eid,' com, 
Flying-Fish, pilot-boat used as tender; Samuel P. Knox, com. The Pearocl: 
and Sea-Gull were wrecked, the Helief sent home, and the Orer/oii purch.iscd 
before the arrival in California. In my lists of pioneers and visitors I in- 
clude only those who were in command of vessels or land parties on the Cal- 
ifornia coast, a few of the scientists, and such members of the expedition as 
left it in California. 

Hist. Cal., Vol. IV. 16 


published at the cost of the government. Copies 
were sent as gifts to the states of the Union, and to 
some of the European governments and scientific in- 
stitutions. Of some parts only a limited number of 
copies was printed, and the plates were destroyed; so 
that a complete set is now of rare occurrence and of 
great pecuniary value. From that in my collection, 
originally one of the presentation copies alluded to, 
I append a specification of the parts.^^ 

" United Stales Exploring Expedition during the years 1S3S, 1S39, IS40, 
IS4I, I842, etc. Philadelphia, 1S44-5S, 4°, 20 vol. ; fol. , 8 vol. Details about 
the publication of this work do uot properly belong here, and if they did, I 
have found no satisfactory bibliographical description. Those given by 
Brunei and others do not agree with my sei either in number, order, or place 
of publication, of the different volumes. The following is a list of the parts 
as found in my collection: 

Vol. i.-v. Narrative by Chas Wilkes, maps, plates, and cuts. An atlas 
is mentioned on the title-page, but does not seem to have been published. 
PhU. 1844, 4". (I have also the edition of Phil. 1845, Svo, 5 vol. ; and there 
was also published an edition of Phil. 1845, imp. Svo, 5 vol., with an atlas. 
Brunet names Svo editions of Phil. 1S49; New York, 1852; and New York, 
1856; also an abridgment in one vol. of New York, 1851. Jenkins' U. S. 
Explor. Expeditions, etc. Auburn, 1850, Svo, one vol., also contains au 
abridgment. ) That part of the narrative pertaining to California is found 
in vol. v., p. 160-272, or chap, v.-vi., with some allusions also in vol. iv., 
526; V. 127, 142-3, 157. 

Vol. vi. Ethnography and Philology, by Horatio Hale. Phil. 1846, 4°. 
Indians of Cal., p. 199, 221-3; fi vocabularies, p. 630-4, 

Vol. vii. Zoophytes, by James D. Dana. Phil. 1846, 4°; atlas, Phil. 1849, 
fol., 61 pi. Slight scattered reference to Cal. 

Vol. viii. Mammcdogy and Ornithology, by Titian R. Peale. Phil. 1848, 
4°. Frequent mention of Cal. animals and birds. (This volume seems to 
have been suppressed, and replaced by another vol. viii. ) 

Vol. viii. (bis). Mammalogy and Ornithology, by John Cassin. Phil. 
1858, 4°; atlas, fol., 53 pi. Contains very many scattered descriptions of Cal. 
animals and birds. 

Vol. ix. The Races of Men and their Geographical Distribution, by Chas 
Pickering. Phil. 1848, 4°. Map showing Cal. as a Malay region; p. 15-.")0, 
slight reference to Cal. in description of the Mongolian race, and N. w. 
coast; p. 100-12, on the Califomians as Malays, with'something of narrative; 
and p. 231, 273, 288, 307-12, allusions to Cal. 

Vol. X. GeoZo.72/, by James D. Dana. Phil. 1849, 4°; atlas, fol., 21 pi. 
Chap, xviii., p. 611-78, is devoted to the geology of Oregon and northern Cal., 
with some cuts. Plates of fossils in the atlas seem to contain little or noth- 
ing from Cal. 

Vol. xi. Meterology, by Chas Wilkes. Phil. 1S51, 4°. Tables of obser- 
vations in Cal., chiefly at Sauzalito, p. 570-623, with diagram, pi. xu;., and 
mention in Introd., p. xlvii.-viii. 

Vol. xii. Mollusca and Shells, by A. A. Gould. Phil. 1852, 4'; atlas (not 
published). Slight scattered reference to Cal. shells. 

Vol. xiii.-xiv. Cr««tacea, by James D. Dana. Phil. 1852, 4°, 2 vol.; 
atlas, Phil. 1855, fol. , 96 pi. Scattered references to Cal. 

Vol. XV. Botanif, ■pti. Phanerogamia, by Asa Gray. PhU. 1854,4°; atlas, 
fol., 100 pi. Descriptions and illustrations of Cal. plants. 


Wilkes had instructions, given doubtless not with- 
out some consideration of political possibilities, to de- 
vote special attention to a survey of San Francisco 
Bay. Accordingly, from the Columbia River, where 
his fleet had been for several months, he despatched 
the Vincennes under Lieutenant Ringgold for Califor- 
nia. She sailed August 7, 1841, and arrived at San 
Francisco on the 14th,^' lying at anchor at Sauzalito 
until November 1st. On the 20th of August Ring- 
gold, with Dr Pickering, six officers, and about fifty 
men, started in the boats to explore the Sacramento 
River, arriving at Sutter's Fort in three daj's, con- 
tinuing the exploration up to latitude 39° 13' 39", re- 
turning to New Helvetia September 4th, and to the 
Vincennes five days later. Subsequently Ringgold 
made other exploring trips about the bay and up the 
San Joaquin, not particularly described. They met 
with no adventures, and their description of the coun- 
try, with its Indians, animals, and vegetation, calls 
for no special notice here.^ 

Another party under Lieutenant Emmons, consist- 
ing of four officers, eight men of the expedition, five 
of the scientific corps — Dana, Peale, Brackenridge, 
Rich, and Agate — six trappers, a guide, and three 
immigrants with their families, thirty-nine persons in 

Vol. xvi. Botany, Cit/ptogamia, by Wm D. Brackenridge. Phil. lSo4, 
4°; atlas, Phil. 1855, fol., 46 pi. Many Cal. plants. 

Vol. xvii., xviii., xix. Never published, so far as I can learn. 

Vol. XX. Herpetolocjy, by S. F. Baird. Phil. 1858, 4°; atlas, fol., 32 pi. 
Scattered references to Cal. (Later imiiressions bear the following title:) 

Vol. XX. (bis). Herpetolorjy, by Charles Girard. Phil. 1858, 4°; atlas, fol. , 
32 pi. (Same as preceding, except title, and addition of a list of plates, p. 
473- G.) 

Vol. xxi. Geographical Distribution of Animals. 

^2 Arrival noted in a letter of Aug. 14th. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 250. I 
find no record that the exploring fleet was troubled about anchorage dues. 

'' Wilkes' Narr., v. 188-207. The only localities named are New Helvetia, 
American Fork, Prairie Butes, Bute Creek, Feather River, and Poplar Grove. 
It was supposed that the Jesus Maria of the Spaniards was the Sacramento 
above the junction with the Featlier; but there is no foundation for this the- 
ory. The two names were applied long before the SiJaniards had been up to 
Feather River, under the impression, formed from the branches or sloughs at 
the mouth, that there were two large rivers flowing from nortlierly directions. 
Pickering, in vol. ix., p. 104-10, also givesa slight description of this explora- 
tion. I reproduce Wilkes' map of Calit'omia, 


■ -^ ^S.Buepa\entura'1 

Wilkes' Map, 1S41. 


all, came down from Oregon overland. This party 
crossed the Boundary Range September 29th into 
California, and four da3rs later struck the head waters 
of the Sacramento. On October 17th they reached 
the Feather River, and two days later were at Sutter's. 
This journey also was without adventure. At New 
Helvetia the company divided, one party with Em- 
mons embai'king on the Vincennes' boat that had been 
sent to meet them, and reaching San Francisco on 
the 24th; while the rest, under Midshipman Eld, pro- 
ceeded by land by way of San Jose and reached the 
fleet on the 28th.='* 

Meanwhile Wilkes had sailed from the Columbia 
on the Porpoise with the Flying Fish and Oregon — the 
latter being the TJiomas Perkins, purchased to replace 
the Peacock, which was wrecked on the Oregon coast-^ 
and arrived at San Francisco on the same day that 
Emmons reached New Helvetia, October 19th."^ His 
personal experience in California, outside of his vessel, 
seems to have been limited to a two or three days' 
trip to Santa Clara, which he describes in an interest- 
ing manner ; but his officers visited many points round 
the bay, including Sonoma and San Rafael. Martinez 
and Richardson are the only entertainers who are fa- 
vorably mentioned; and guests on board the fleet are 
represented as having stayed longer than they were 
welcome. ^^ The "closing scene of the tour" was an 

^*WilIces' Narr., v. 252-6.^; also v. 127, 142-3; ix. 110-12. The names 
used are Boundary Bange and Mt Emmons, Klamet river and valley, Mt Shasto 
(with view). Destruction River, Pitt Eiver, Sacramento River, Bear Camp, 
Prairie Butes (39° 8'), Little Pork, Feather River, New Helvetia, Rio Cosmc- 
nes, Mogueles River, San Juan, Frenchman's Camp, San Joachin, Pul Porrice 
Hills, Mission San Jos(5, and Santa Clara. 

'^Oot. 22, 1841, Wilkes to Vallejo, announcing his arrival, and asking as- 
sistance in the way of supplies. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 312, 314. On Dec. 
11th, Vallejo reported the visit and operations of the expedition to the min- 
ister of war. Id. , x. 383. . 

»» WiU-es' Narr., v. 207-28. Vallejo, Hist. Cal, MS., iv. 239-40, mentions 
a visit of Ringgold to Sonoma, and an invitation for himself and family to visit 
the fleet, which he was obliged to decline. Some of the officers, according to 
Davis' Olim/ises, MS. , 73-84, also made a visit to Ross. Davis came frequently 
into contact with tho officers and men of the expedition while at S. P., and 
he gives an interesting account of the visit. He tells us that Wilkes talked 
freely mth Spear about the prospect of the U. S. securing S. F. Bay, and the 
determination not to let England gain any advantage. 


auction sale of tbe horses of the expedition at Yerba 
Buena, the proceeds of which amounted to $210. On 
November 1st the fleet set sail, several deserters 
being left behind, and one man being accidentally killed 
as the Vincennes crossed the bar. Mr Hale had been 
left in Oregon, and came down with Simpson in De- 

In naming the volumes devoted to a record of sci- 
entific observations which form the bulk of the great 
work resulting from this expedition, I have specified 
the parts of each pertaining to California. No further 
notice of these volumes is called for in an historical 
work; but I have no reason to doubt that the}^ were 
altogether worthy of the eminent names attached to 
them. Officers and scientists did their work fiithfully, 
and left an agreeable impression in the minds of such 
residents of the country as came in contact with them. 

Of the narrative written by the commander, how- 
ever, not much can justly be said in praise, so far as 
that part relating to California is concerned. It is 
not worthy of the great enterprise it records, nor of its 
scientific appendices; nor does it compare favorably 
with earlier and less pretentious narratives. The ha- 
bitual misspelling of Spanish and other names is a 
blemish specially noticeable in a work written by an 
educated officer, and published under the auspices of a 
government and a learned society in so magnificent a 
form.^" Wilkes was reserved and cold in manner, or 
seemed so to the few Californians who met him; and 
his manner of referring to most things and men in his 
book, in marked contrast to the spirit of courtes}^ that 
had distinguished the statements of other visitors in 
like positions, is not calculated to inspire among Cali- 
fornians much regret that he was reprimanded, after 

" For instance, Wilkes writes, Los Angelos, San Joachin, Mt Diavolo, 
Kaquines, Jesu Maria, Bute, Nappa, Zonoma, Mogueles, Cosmenes, Cape 
Mendocina, Xacatecas, Xativetes, Caravallio River, San Juan Capista, Bran- 
caforte, Guadaloupe, Kibas, Mr Sjiears, Sr Noniga, EchanJia, Cos:nc Penae, 
IJamierez, Peralto, Padre Mercador, tula, pores (pozos), coural. Donna, Nos- 
tra Senora, etc. 


a trial by court-martial, for severity to his men during 
the voyage. The season was one of drought, but that 
fact could not justify this author's absurd underesti- 
mate of the country's natural advantages. The people 
and their institutions certainly afforded some ground 
for unfavorable criticism, but Wilkes constantly in- 
dulges in careless misrepresentations and exaggera- 
tions.^ And I find no special excellence in any respect 

^* I give a series of brief quotations to illustrate the spirit of the narrative. 
'Although I was prepai-ed for anarchy and confusion, I was surprised when I 
found a total absence of all government in California, and even its forms and 
ceremonies thrown aside.' p. 1G2. ' The alcalde of S. F. (Don Francisco Guer- 
rero) was full of self-importance, making up for what he wanted in the eyes 
of others by a high estimate of his own dignity. I could iind no one who 
could furnish me with his name ( !), which must be my apology for not re- 
cording it.' p. 163. 'The country, at the time of our visit, and for several 
years previous, had been in a state of revolution (!), and was involved in an- 
archy and confusion, without laws or security of person or property With 

California is associated the idea of a fine climate. This at least was the idea 
with which I entered its far-famed port; but I soon found from the reports of 
the officers that their experience altogether contradicted the received opinion. 
Many compared its climate to that of Orange Harbor at Cape Horn. ' p. 103-4. 
The valley of S. Juan is described as one of the most fertile tracts, but what 
valley is referred to it is hard to tell. ' The inland plain constituting a large 
part of Upper California is, according to all accounts, an arid waste.' p. 1G5. 
Only asmall portion of the country offers any agricultural advantages, p. 1G6. 
' There is but comparatively little trade, for the hides and tallow which for- 
merly made the business profitable are no longer to be procured.' p. 168. 
Tlie exports include 200,000 arrobas of tallow, and all merchantable products 
are less than a million dollars, p. lGS-9. 'Although California may not boast 
of its dense population, every intelligent person I met agreed that it consumed 
more spirits in proportion than any other part of the world.' p. 169. Taxes 
are represented as very high, and the 'church tithes enormous' (!). p. 171. 
' Descended from the old Spaniards, the Californians are unfortunately found 
to have all their vices, without a proper share of their virtues.' 'The 
female portion of the community are ignorant, degraded, and the slaves of 
their husbands. ' ' The state of morals is very low, and is every day becoming 
worse. During the residence of the old Spanish priests, the people were kept 
under some control, but now priest and layman are alike given up to idleness 
and debauchery.' They have a reputation for hospitality, but will take money 
if offered through a servant, and will swindle a guest should he wish to hire 
or buy anything, p. 187-S. ' The best route to the U. S. is to follow the S. 
Joachin for 00 miles, thence easterly through a gap in the Snowy Mountains, 
by a good beaten road (!); thence the course is north-easterly to Mary's River. ' 
p. 193. A Califomian 'is content with coarse fare, provided he can get enough 
of strong drink to minister to this thirst. . ..The palm for intemperance was, 
I think, generally given to the padres. ' A large part of the S.acramento Valley 
'is undoubtedly barren and improductive, and must forever remain so.' p. 
206. Vallejo 'is not overscrupulous in demanding duties of vessels entering 
the port of S. F., and until he has been consulted, a vessel is liable to an in- 
definite amount of duties. ' Anecdotes of him ' show a striking disregard for 
the lives as well as for the property and liberty of the Indians and gcnte de 
razon.' One of the governors trained Indians as soldiers and a company of 
tlicm 'made sucli proficiency in the use of their arms that liis excellency be- 
came alarmed and forthwith ordered them all to be shot(!). I have little- 


to compensate for these defects. There is of course 
much that is accurate enough, but nowhere does the 
narrative rise above tlie commonplace, or throw any 
new light upon either country or people. The descrip- 
tive portions are incomplete, and often inaccurate. 
The historical sketch is taken without much skill from 
Forbes, in the earlier parts, while later events are 
drawn apparently from Farnham, or some source tinged 
with that writer's prejudices. But for Wilkes' posi- 
tion, and the peculiar circumstances under which his 
narrative was written and published, these remarks 
might with some justice be regarded as hypercritical. 

M. Eugene Duflot de Mofras was a young attache 
of the French embassy at Madrid, who had previously 
visited America, when at the end of 1839 he was re- 
called by Marshal Soult, minister of foreign aifairs, 
and attached to the legation at Mexico, with a special 
mission to visit the north-western provinces of the 
republic, and the American, English, and Russian 
posts beyond, "in order to ascertain, independently of 
a political point of view, what advantage might be 
offered to our commerce and to our navigation by 
mercantile expeditions, and the establishment of trad- 
ing-posts in those regions still little known in France."^' 
The book which resulted from the performance of this 
mission contains no narrative, beyond here and there an 
incidental mention, of the author's personal adventures ; 
and I am obliged to depend on the archives and other 
records that are not so complete as would be desira- 
ble. M. Mofras still occupied, in 1878, a high diplo- 
matic position, that of ministre plenipotentiaire under 

doubt that this story may be essentially true.' p. 210-11. 'The state of so- 
ciety here [Sonoma] is exceedingly loose; envy, hatred, and malice predomi- 
nate in almost every breast, and the people are wretched under their present 
rulers. Female virtue is at a low ebb, and the coarse and lascivious dances 
show the degraded tone of manners.' p. 211-12. The administrator at Sta 
Clara had taken the name of his wife, Aliza, one of the most famous in earlj' 
times! p. 217. The country between Sta Clara and S. Francisco was pictur- 
esque in places, 'though to all appearance entirely unfit for cultivation'! 
p. 226. 

^^ Mofras, Exploration, i. Avant-pMJios, p. viii.-ix. 


the French government; and he has assured me that 
he preserved no journal or memoranda of his personal 
experience in California.*' 

Having arrived in Mexico, the attache's passports 
and letters of recommendation were issued in May 
1840," and he soon started on his mission, visiting Co- 
lima, Jalisco, Sinaloa, Sonora, and perhaps Lower Cali- 
fornia, being on the gulf-coast apparently in Novem- 
ber.*^ In April 1841 he came up from Mazatlan with 
Captain Fitch on the Ninfa, touching first, perhaps, at 
San Pedro, and arriving at Monterey in May.*^ Before 
June 11th, he had visited Sonoma with a letter of 
introduction to Vallejo from Virmond, and probably 
went to Ross before returning to the capital.** In 

"In one of his letters, dated at Paris, Dec. 11, 1S7S, ]\I. Mofras writes me 
as follows. 'Cher Monsieur: Du retoiir d'lm voyage k Constantinople je 
trouve Totre amioale lettre et je ne puis assez vous remercier de votre bien- 
veillanee; mais je vous assure que j'ai tout mis dans mon ouvrage, et que je 
n'ai pas fait de journal de mes impressions personnelles, qui, depuis si long- 
temps sont d'ailleurs bien effac^es de ma m^moire. Veuillez vous souvenir 
ensuite qu'au moment de mon exploration elle (5tait souvent perilleuse et que 
je voyais sans cesse des ours dans le foret. Taut mon temps et mes facultts 
etaient pris par mes observations et el soin de ma vie raaterielle. Que de 
fois j'ai souffert le froid, la faim, et le soif ! Que de fois je me suis ^gar(5 des 
journ^es entiferes au risque de succomber! Vous avez une Californie qui res- 
semble a Pai-is maintenant; mais alors 11 6tait difficile souvent d'avoir des 
guides et 11 fallait craindre et les Indiens et surtout les ours. ' I have before 
me another original letter of the same writer, dated at Monterey, July 20, 
1841 — not, however, addressed to myself. 

"May 21, 1840, min. of rel. to gov. Announces that passports have been 
issued to Mofras for a scientific visit to Cal., and orders protection to be af- 
forded him. Dept. St. Pap., Angeles, MS., xi. 118-19. May 20th, Virmond 
to Al varado, introducing and highly recommending Mofras. Vallejo, Doc. , MS. , 
xxxiii. 74. May 26th, Virmond to Vallejo, to same effect. Id., ix. 146. The 
order from the govt reached Cal. at the end of Oct., and was circulated in 
Nov. Dept. St. Pap., Aug., xi. 118; Id., Ben. Prqf. y Juaj., v. 13; S. Dkrjo, 
Arch., 261. 

" Mofras, Exploration, i. 203. The year is not mentioned. 

"April 13, 1841, arrival of jVin/« with Mofras on board, 19 days from 
Mazatlan, but no place named. Dept. St. Pap., Angeles, JIS., iv. 83. May 
12th, com. of Monterey announces arrival at Monterey on May 6th. Vallejo, 
Dos., MS., X. 130. May 12th, he felt an earthquake at Monterey, and again 
on July 3d. Explor., ii. 56. 

"June 11, 1841, Vallejo to com. of Monterey. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 163. 
Vallejo, Hist. Cal., MS., iv. 2.50-5, speaks of Mofras' visit to Sonoma, and 
says he sent an escort with him to Ross, whence he returned with a Russian 
escort to Sauzalito, crossing over to Yerba Buena ui Richardson's vessel. In 
his Exploration, ii. 19, he speaks of having visited Ross several times; for the 
second time. Id., ii. 27, in Aug., when the author goes so fai- as to speak of 
an incident on the way. 


July he was at Monterey, as appears from his letters.*^ 
September 1st he arrived at Sutter's Fort;*® and dur- 
ing the same month was at San Jos^ and Santa 
Cruz." October 18th the traveller had embarked at 
San Francisco oh the Cowlitz for Fort Vancouver, 
meeting Wilkes outside the heads ;*^ and on Decem- 
ber 30th he came back on the same vessel to San 
Francisco in company with Sir George Simpson, John 
McLoughlin, and Horatio Hale.''^ Mofras and Hale 
immediately took passage on the Bolivar for Monte- 
re}^ 5'^" and on January 3d, the former sailed with Cap- 
tain Peirce for Mazatlan on the Maryland, which 
touched at Santa Barbara, and remained for nine 
days, January 18th to 27th, at San Diego." During 
the travels of which I have presented this fragmen- 
tary record, Mofras visited probably every mission 
and other settlement in California. I suppose that 
the Santa Bdrbara district was explored in April, as 
the Ninfa, came up the coast ; those of Monterey and 
San Francisco from May to October, the explorer 
making his headquarters at the capital and Yerba 
Buena; and that of San Diego in January 1842, 
while the Maryland was disposing of her cargo. 

Of the French visitor's acts and experience during 
the travels thus outlined, we know even less than of 
the travels themselves — nothing at all indeed, so far 
as the south is concerned. At Yerba Buena he spent 
some time at the house of Nathan Spear, making that 
his headquarters while he visited different points in 
the north. At this time William H. Davis, Spear's 

"July 20th, Mofras to the P. president at S. Jos(5. Pico, Doc, MS., ii. 
13. Same date Mofras to Alvarado. Drpt. St. Pap., MS., v. 117. 

•"' Sept. 1st, Sutter to Suflol, announcing the arrival of ' M. le Comte. ' Sul- 
ier-Siiiiol Corresp., MS., 10. 

*' Exploration, i. 417, 324. 

'' WHkei' Xarr., v. 157. A boat came from the Cowlitz to the Porpoise, 
having on board Capt. Brotchie .and Mofras. His intention then was to go 
from the Columbia to the Sandwich Islands. 

'^Dept. St. Pa})., Ben. Mil, MS., Iv. 18. 

^"Simpson's Narrntive, i. 303. 

"Peirce's Rough Sketch, MS., 87; Id., Journals, MS., 90-1; Mofras, Ex- 
phration, i. G34. 


man of, came mucli in contact with Mofras, 
Avlio often sailed with him on the schooner Isabella to 
different points on the bay. Davis became a great 
admirer of the Frenchman, whom he describes as a 
most accomphshed gentleman, well liked by all who 
met him, intelligent and observant, enthusiastic to the 
verge of excitability, and prone to indulge in rhap- 
sodical prophecies on the grand future of San Fran- 
cisco Ba}^ and the region thereabout.^^ 

During his visit to Sonoma, Mofras in some way 
gave offence to Vallejo, who conceived a bitter dislike 
of the man, which is clearly expressed in his narrative, 
and which perhaps accounts for the fact that the 
traveller is not ver}'- complimentary, though by no 
means severe or abusive, in his allusions to the gen- 
eral. Vallejo admits that Mofras was an intelligent 
and highly educated man, and that he could be a gen- 
tleman if he chose; but insists that he was conceited, 
arrogant, and disposed to look down on the Califor- 
nians as inferior beings. Alleging no improprieties 
on the part of the visitor at Sonoma, he gives credence 
to several absurd scandals respecting his conduct else- 
where, and delights in presenting his every act in an 
unfavorable and ridiculous light. ^'^ Of these scandals, 
the only one worthy of notice here is that of Mofras' 
conduct at the Alisal Rancho, an account of which 

" Davis' Glimpses of the. Past, ^IS. , 38-42. The author relates that on one 
occasion the schooner grounded on the mud flats at North Beach, and they 
had to wait for the tide to float them. Mofras after a time became impatient, 
tlieu excited, and finally jumped overboard to vade and swim and wallow to 
the shore, which he succeeded in reaching in a not very presentable condition. 
Vallejo tells the same story, and he says also that this adventure was on the 
return from Ross via Sauzalito. 

63 Vallejo, Hist. Cnl., MS., iv. 244-59. The author says he was at work 
out of doors when Mofras made his appearance, and asked, ' Where is the 
comandante general?' 'Mr Prudon will conduct you to his office, sir,' re- 
plied Vallejo, who straightway entered by a back door, donned his uniform, 
and received his guest. In the interview that followed, Mofras seems to have 
assumed considerable self-importance, and to have spoken in a tone of famil- 
iarity that was ofl'ensive to the general's sense of dignity. Vallejo in some 
way got the idea that Mofras left the country angry with the Californians, 
and especially with himself; and his statement seems to have been mado^vith 
a view to counteract such cliarges and abuse as he supposed the Frenchman 
had introduced in his book — which he had not seen. 


was made public in a newspaper on the authority of 
Mrs Hartnell.^* It is enough to say on this subject 
that the lady mentioned has since declared the story, 
so far as Mofras is concerned, to be without founda- 
tion. At San Antonio he had some kind of a quarrel 
with Jesus Pico, the administrator, according to the 
latter's statement/' 

At Monterey Mofras had a correspondence with 
various padres about the condition of their respective 
establishments and matters of mission history, send- 
ing them as gifts certain sacred tiinkets which he had 
brought from Spain. ^"^ He also conducted some nego- 
tiations with the governor, with a view to have dis- 
covered and punished the murderers of the French- 
man, Dubosc, in 1840.^ Alvarado describes him as 
a young man of great abihty, generous inclinations, 
and fiery temperament; but arrogant, and prone to 
dissipation.^^ Sir George Simpson speaks of "a pas- 
senger of the name of De Mofras, who represented 
himself, for he had no credentials, as an attache of the 
French embassy in Mexico. Though this gentleman 
professed to be collecting information for the purpose 
of making a book, yet, with the exception of accom- 
panying us to the Willamette, he scarcely went ten 
miles from the comfortable quarters at Fort Vancouver ; 

^'Monterey Herald, March 20, 1S75; Id., Oct. 24, 1875 (?); Hartndl,Nar- 
ratiya, MS., 14-20. 

''Pico, Acoiilecimientos, MS., 54-7; Id., letter, Pioneer Sketches, MS., no. 
2. Pico claims to have put Mofras under arrest in the padre's house, the 
padre allowing him to escape to Monterey, where the quarrel was renewed 
later. The origin of the trouble was Mofras' insolent complaint that suffi- 
cient attention was not shown him. In his Exploration, i. 388, M. speaks of his 
indignation at seeing the administrator at S. Antonio, an old servant of the 
mission, take advantage of the padre's paralyzed condition to refuse him the 
necessary aid and food. Salvador Vallejo, ^otaa. Hist., MS., 129-30, takes 
some pride in having told Mofras of a mission at Sta Rosa, and of vanilla 
growing there. 

^ Pico, Doc. , MS. , ii. 13. Only one of the letters appears, but others are 
alluded to in this. 

" Depi. Eec, MS., xii. 41; Dept. St. Pap., MS., v. 117. Mofras, Explor., 
i. 4G5, accuses Vallejo of having shut his eyes and allowed the assassin to 

'""Alvarado, Hist. Cal., MS., iv. 175-9. The author shares VaUejo's views 
to some extent; and states that Mofras became involved in many ridiculous 
and disgraceful troubles on account of Iiis lack of self-respect when under the 
influence of liquor. 


■while in conversation he was more ready to dilate on 
his own equestrian feats than to hear what others 
might be able to tell him about the country or the 
people.""^ From all the evidence, I conclude that 
Duflot de Mofras was a man of talent, but somewhat 
wild, bent on amusing himself, fonder of personal com- 
forts than of study ; not disposed to go far out of his 
way for historical information, but using intelligently 
such material as came into his hands; gentlemanly in 
manner, but not overawed by the dignity of Califor- 
nian officials, and somewhat too careless about the 
i-eputation he might leave in so distant a land. 

To the book which resulted from the visit of Mo- 
fras, which I have frequent occasion to cite on differ- 
ent topics, and which I describe in a note,^'' a high 
degree of praise must be accorded. Its plan is ex- 
cellent, and the execution creditable to the author. 
He aims to give a complete description of the coun- 
try, its past history and present condition, compiled 
from the principal works that had been published on 
the subject, and supplemented by his own researches 

^' Simpson's Narrative, i. 245. 

"" Mofi-as, Exploration du Territoire de VOrirjon, des Califomies, et de la Mer 
Vermeille, eitcuUe pendant les annies I84O, 1841, et IS4S, par M. Dvfiot de 
Mofras, A ttache a, la Legation de France cl Mexico; Ouvrage jniblii par ordre 
du Roi, sous les auspices de M. le MaricJial Soult, Due da Dalmatie, President 
du Conseil, et de M. le ilinistre des Affaires Mrangires. Paris, 1844. 8vo, 
2 vol., and folio atlas. The portions relating to Cal. are vol. i., chap, vii., p. 
251-314, history of missions, pueblos, and presidios; chap, viii., p. 315-S4, 
system of govt, population, local description, iind history of southern dis- 
tricts; chap, ix., p. 3S5-4G8, local description and history, northern districts; 
chap. X., p. 469-518, agriculture, stock-raising, commerce, etc.; vol. ii., chap. 
i., p. 1-20, the Russian establishment; chap, ii., p. 21-71, manners and cus- 
toms, physical features, foreign relations, resume. Plates relating to Cal. 
in vol. i., view of Monterey; portrait of P. Duran; Califomian throwing the 
lazo; Russian house. Plates in the atlas: general map — including California 
which I reproduce; charts of the ports of S. Diego, mouth of Colorado, S. 
Pedro, Sta Bdrbara, Monterey, S. F.,Bodegaand Ross, and Trinidad; view and 
ground-plan of S. Luis Rey mission. The books consulted by Mofras on Cal., 
as named in his list, are (the titles changed to agree with my list): Drake lie- 
iiived; Beechey's Voy.; Monterey, Extraelo; MorreWsNarrative; Fages' Voyage; 
Boscana's Hist. Irid. Col.; Rioboo, Relacion; Duhaut-Cilly, Voy.; Cal. Regla- 
menlo, 1784; Douglas, in Comp. Bot. Mag.; Palou, I'ida. deSerra; Castro, De- 
crelos; Forbes, Cal.; La Pirouse, Voyage; Mission Archives; Vancouver's 
Voy.; Monterey, Archives; Arricivita, Cron.; Petit- Thouars, Voy.; Siilil y 
Mejicana; Belcher's Voy.; Langsdorff's Voy.; Laplace, Campagne; Kolsebue'a 
Voy.; Eoguefeuil, Voy.; Kotzebue's New Voy. 

jUoFKAs' Map or l'-ilipoenia. 


in tlie archives and personal observations in the re- 
gions described. It must be admitted that these i^e- 
searches and observations were not so extensive and 
careful as was desirable; yet they enabled Mofras to 
use intelligently the material before him, and to pro- 
duce without great expenditure of work a somewhat 
satisfactory result. Had he been a harder student 
and more diligent investigator, he might have avoided 
many petty errors, and have given his work an air of 
originality that would have added greatly to his repu- 
tation. Forbes' work is the only one of the time 
that can be compared with this; but while not less 
meritorious in many respects, it is very much less ex- 
tensive and complete. Of some political aspects of 
Mofras' work and tour, I shall have occasion to speak 
in the next chapter. 




Hopes and Plans of Foreign Nations — United States — Manifest Des- 
tiny — Wilkes and Warner— Foreign Opinions — British Projects^ 
Simpson's Views — Aspirations of France— Mofras on a Catholic 
Protectorate — SrixEB as a Frenchman — Advantages of Yankee 
Methods— Beginning of Overland Immigration — Excitement ut 
the Frontier States — Bartleson Party from Missouri — Bidwell's 
DiART — Narratives of Belden, Chiles, and Hopper— Crossing the 
Desert and Sierra— List of Names — Arrr'al and Reception — 
Policy toward Foreigners — Vallejo's Acts — Dr Marsh— The 
Workman-Rowland Party from New Mexico — Wilson's Narra- 
tive— IIowlahd's List — Other Parties — Mrs Walker and Mrs Kel- 
SEY — ^LisT of New-comers for 1841 — Items aboct Old Settlers. 

It is manifestly impossible to ascertain definitely 
the hopes and plans of the United States, England, 
and France at this time respecting California. In 
1841, and for years before, navigators of each nation 
had praised the natural advantages of the country, 
and especially of its great port. They had affirmed 
that it could not long remain under Mexican rule. 
The}^ had pointed out the ease with which it might 
be secured, and had directly or indirectly urged its 
acquisition. That these representations had their 
effect at Washington, London, and Paris on influen- 
tial members of the governments, that the matter was 
discussed, and that secret instructions were issued, 
can hardly be doubted. It has always been a popular 
idea of Americans that other nations were in the 
race for the prize; and, while it has been often exag- 

( 256 J 


gerated in certain respects, it has not been without 
foundation. Nations, however, do not announce their 
designs of this nature in advance; neither are they 
prone to confess them after their failure. 

Americans, or such of them as took the matter 
into consideration at all, had no doubt that it was the 
'manifest destiny' of their nation to absorb this west- 
ern land. Their navigators and writers and emigrants 
had spoken more plainly than those of other nations 
on the subject. Annexation was already a topic of 
conversation and newspaper comment. We have seen 
that the United States had once actually proposed to 
Mexico the cession of northern California,^ and we 
have noted the alarm expressed by the American 
press at the rumor of purchase by England.^ Be- 
yond the fact that Wilkes was instructed to make a 
special survey of the bay, there was but little in con- 
nection with the exploring expedition or its narrative 
to throw light on American schemes. Wilkes did 
not indeed represent the country as a very desirable 
acquisition, except for the commercial and naval im- 
portance of its harbor; yet he writes: "The situation 
of California will cause its separation from Mexico 
before many years. It is very probable that this 
country will become united with Oregon, with which 
it will perhaps form a state that is destined to con- 
trol the destinies of the Pacific. This western coast, 
enjoying a climate in many respects superior to any 
other in the Pacific, possessed as it must be by the 
Anglo-Norman race, and having none to enter into 
rivalry with it but the indolent inhabitants of warm 
climates, is evidently destined to fill a large space in 
the world's future history."^ It was obviously not 

' This in 1835. See vol. iii., chap. xiv. 

* In 1837-9. See chap. iv. of this vol. 

^Wilkes' Narr., v. 1S2-3. He also blames the govt for its lack of energy 
in redressing the wrongs of the Graham party. Davis, Glimpses, JNIS., 77-S, 
says that Wilkes expressed himself very freely to Nathan Spear on the polit- 
ical aspects of his visit, declaring that the U. S. would have Cal., and in- 
quiring earnestly about Mofras' movements, and the dangers of French inter- 
vention. Californiaiis agree that the coming of Wilkes' lleet caused consid- 
Hisi. Cal., Vol. IV. 17 


for the interest of United States to agitate the mat- 
ter; since now that immigration had begun, delay 
could not but favor their cause, and the only thing to 
be feared was the interference of some other foreign 
power. Evidently it was the policy at Washington 
to watch closely for such interference, and meanwhile 
to give manifest destiny a loose rein. 

The secretary of the navy, in his report of Decem- 
ber 4th, after alluding to the Graham affair, says : " In 
California there are already considerable settlements 
of Americans, and others are daWj resorting to that 
fertile and dehghtful region. Such, however, is the 
unsettled condition of that country that they cannot 
be safe either in their persons or property except un- 
der the protection of our naval power. ... It is highly 
desirable, too, that the Gulf of California should be 
fully explored. For these reasons" — and perhaps for 
others not stated — "I have caused estimates to be 
prepared for a large increase of the Pacific squadron."* 
In the same report it is stated that Commodore Jones 
is about to sail for the Pacific to take command. Of 
this officer's instructions and acts we shall learn much 
from the annals of the next year. In connection with 
the immigration, to be noticed later in this chapter, 
there were published many newspaper articles of such 
a sensational nature as to cause alarm in Mexico, and 
likely to do more harm than good to the American 
cause. I may add that Warner, in his lecture already 
noticed, earnestly urged the importance of prompt ac- 
tion to secure possession of San Francisco Ba}- by pur- 

erable uneasiness. Vallejo, Iltst. Cat, MS., iv. 241-2, says it even scared 
his foes at Monterey into making overtures for reconciliation for defence; and 
BiJwell, Cal., MS., 97-9, afiirms that it convinced people that the U. S. gort 
was something more than a mvth, and had a good etfect. 

' U. S. Govt Doc, 27th cong. 2d sess.. Sen. Doc, no. 1, p. .*?69. 

5 Warner's Cal. and Oregon, 236. The author says: ' I have quoted from 
these English writers (Forbes chiefly) for three objects: 1. To corroborate my 
o-svn remarks respecting the value of tliis ten-itory. 2. To show that the Eng- 
lish-reading community and the govt have more information ' about it than 
we. ' 3. To confirm the opinion that England is now disposed to negotiate 
with Mexico for the bay of San Francisco and the territory of California. . . 


Not only did Americans announce their purpose 
and their confidence in ultimate success, but foreigners 
as well admitted that they would succeed — except in 
certain contingencies. Sir George Simpson writes: 
The Americans, becoming masters of the interior 
through Sutter's establishment, "will soon discover 
that they have a natural right to a maritime outlet; 
so that whatever may be the fate of Monterey and 
the more southerly ports, San Francisco will, to a 
moral certainty, sooner or later fall into the possession 
of Americans" — unless the English take it. "As 
Texas has been wrested from Mexico on the one side 
of the continent, so California will be speedily lost to 
her on the other. The only doubt is whether Cali- 
fornia is to fall to the British or to the Americans. The 
latter, whether one looks at thair seizure of Texas or 
at their jjretensions to the Oregon, have clearly the 
advantage in an unscrupulous choice of weapons, be- 
ing altogether too ready to forget that the fulfilment 
of even the most palpable decrees of providence will 
not justify in man the employment of unrighteous 
nieans."^ Mofras gave much attention to the subject, 
and convinced himself from his intercourse with officers 
of Wilkes' expedition and of the Hudson's Bay Corn- 
There is no jjoint of all Pacific America that unites a moiety of the advantages 
found ill the ba}-; and it is free from all objections. . .The natural union be- 
tween the country south of the Columbia aud the bay of San Francisco and 
surrounding country is such that, although governments may for a time be 
able to separate them, the day is not far distant when they, drawn together 
by their oneness of interest, will bid defiance to foreign' powers. If a union 
does not take place amicably, it will by force. . . If the proposition to cede Cal. 
to the English should be accomplisheil— placing the aU-important harbor of 
S. F. in possession of the most powerful naval and commercial kingdom — 
would it not ruin the prospects of the Oregon territory?. . .Is it not important, 
then, that instead of i^crmitting it to fall into the hands of our most dangerous 
rivals, it should be united to our own territory?' Warner was a Mexican cit- 
izen; but no matter. 'Although I may be accused of presumption, I cannot 
refrain from saying that the present appears a favorable opportunity, when a 
negotiation is pending which must leave Mexico a debtor to this govt, not in 
the best position to cancel the claim, and probably glad to transfer Cal. on 
the account. . .We must not suppose that Cal. is to remain stationary, or un- 
der the control of the Jlexican govt, while all the parts of the earth arc iu 
movement if not advancing. It must soon fall to some more enterprising na- 

' S!m2)son'3 Jfari: , i. 327, 409. 


pany "that England and the United States flatter 
themselves alike with the idea of taking California 
from Mexico. It is moreover evident to us that Cali- 
foi^nia will belong to whatever nation chooses to send 
there a man-of-war and 200 men; and we can but ap- 
prove the patriotic conduct of the English and Am- 
erican governments in making sure in advance of impor- 
tant points on the Pacific ... It is to be doubted that 
the English, with all the admirable ybrce cV expansion of 
their government, can distance their rivals in the oc- 
cupation of this fine territory. As for us, it is useless 
to say that our political sympathies are for the Amer- 
icans; and since California must change masters, we 
should prefer to see it in the hands of the United States 
rather than in those of England" — alwa3's if it cannot 
belong to France.'' 

On British projects for acquiring California, there 
is not much of fact to be recorded for 1841, though 
the coming of the man-of-war Curagoa, the visits of 
Douglas, Simpson, and McLoughlin, and the opera- 
tions of the Hudson's Bay Company were popularl}^ 
supposed to be connected with those projects."^ The 
negotiations to secure California in payment of the 
jVIexican debt** were believed to be still in progress. 
In Warner's lecture, and the current newspaper 
sketches, this arrangement was held up as an immi- 
nent danger. Mofras gives an account of the nego- 
tiations, and expresses his conviction, formed largely 
from conversation with officers of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, that England was confident of success.'" 

''Mofras, Explor., ii. 61-71. Tbis author thinks the delay of the U. S. 
iu the Graham afifair was with a view to accumulate clauns and grievances 
against Mexico until a convenient season. 

* Here I may record that an Irishman at Branciforte was fined §20 for 
having in the presence of witnesses applied a vile epithet to the Mexican govt 
and its officials, declaring that England would come and take the whole lot. 
Monterey, Arch., MS., x. 4. 

' See chap. iv. of this vol. 

^^ ' En ce moment la compagnie, sflre de I'appui du gouvemement britan- 
uique, pousse une ligne de forts vers ce territoire; elle esp<Sre que les ntfgocia- 
tions commenc^es il ya peud'annees par la maisoii Lizardi deLondres, comme 
agent du Mexique pour la cession des terrains en payenient de la dette an- 
glaise et renouveliies tres-recemmeut, pouiTont &tre courannfes de succ&, et 

EjSTGLISH prospects. 2G1 

And Simpson believed that it was not only possible 
but most desirable for England to take the countr}- in 
part payment of the debt; and he also advanced the 
proposition that "under the treaty of 1790, England 
is even now entitled to colonize a considerable portion 
of the upper province. As America has renounced 
everything that lies below 42°, .. .England, without 
being questioned by any one, may immediately occupy 
the coast from 42° down to the due range of the set- 
tlement of San Francisco,. . .and may to-morrow jus- 
tifiably occupy the valley of Santa Rosa, which opens 
into Bodega Bay"!" 

Finally, for the Californian aspirations of France, 
less definite than those of her two rivals, we have as 
salient points the recent coming of the Danaide, the 
strong Canadian French element among the trappers, 
the establishment and threats of Sutter, who was a 
Frenchman when it suited his plans to be so, and the 
visit of Mofras. There is no reason to doubt that 
France, in sending an agent to collect information 
about the Pacific regions, was actuated to some extent 
by a hope, similar to that of other powers, that Cali- 
fornia might one day, by some lucky chance, fall into 
her possession. ^^ In his published work Mofras is 

que cette fois ce ne sera plus au Texas ou dans I'interieur du Nouvean Mex- 
ique et de la Sonora que le gouveruement Mexicain oSrira des terraiBS, mais 
bien dans la Haute Califoruie. Pcrsonne n'ignore que la dette s'(5lfeve h 
270,000,000 francs, et que cette dette ne pourra jamais Ctrepay^e. Si la ces- 
sion de la province avait lieu, la compagnie voudrait Ctre la premiere i occu- 
l^er les meilleurs terrains, pour les revendre ensuite en detail aveo un ^norme 
btinC-fice.' Mofras, Explor., ii. Cl-2. 

" 'English, in some sense or other of the word, the richest portions of Cal- 
ifornia must become. Either Great Britain will introduce her well regulated 
freedom of all classes and colors, or the people of the U. S. will inundate the 
country with their own peculiar mixture of helpless bondage and lawless in- 
subordination. Between two such alternatives, the Califomians themselves 
have little room for choice; and even if there were ground for hesitation, they 
would, I am convinced, find in their actual experience sufficient reason for 
deciding in favor of the British. . .Though England cannot afford to acquire 
additional territory by such measures as would shake that reputation for in- 
tegrity on which her empire is fomidcd, yet she has one road open to her 
(that of the debt), by which she may bring California under lier sway, without 
either force or fraud, without either the violence of marauders or the efifron- 
terv of diplomatists.' Sim]>son's Narr., i. 327-8, 409-10. 

"'2 July 27, 1841, Vallejo to Alvarado. There is no doubt that France is 
intriguing to become mistress of Cal. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 230. Dwiuelle, 


careful to note what Frenchmen reside at each point, 
generally naming one or two as particularly patriotic 
and trustworthy; he dwells on the importance of New 
Helvetia as an essentially French settlement, suggest- 
ing that missionaries be sent there. He calls atten- 
tion to the special friendship shown by Californians 
for his compatriots at the time of the Graham aiFair 
and on other occasions. He points out the identit\^ 
of religion and temperament, states that Alvarado 
offered to grant him a large tract of land in the Tu- 
lares for a French colony, and declares it as his opin- 
ion that a French protectorate offers to California the 
most satisfactory way of escape from the dangers that 
threaten its future. ^^ 

Thus it is apparent from what has been said, and 
still more clearly from the developments of later yeai's, 
that the three great powers, as I have said at the 
start, had hopes of acquiring territorial possessions in 
California. So far as legitimate methods of acquisi- 
tion were concerned, the chances of the three contest- 
ants were not very unequal, each having certain ad- 
vantages ; but the United States was not only more 
thoroughly in earnest than her rivals, but had a vari- 
ety of natural agents at work in her interests, notabl}' 

Address, 5, says Mofras' exploration was intended to prepare tlie way to French 
conquest. Cronise, Natural Wraith, 07, says 'it is known that secret agents 
of that govt resided in Cal. from the time of M. de Mofras' visit until it fell 
into the hands of the U. S. ' Davis, Gliinpses, MS. , 78, remarks that Wilkes 
exhibited great anxiety to leam all the details of what the Frenchman did 
and said. 

'■■' 'Le sort de oe pays est d'etre conquis, s'il ne se replace sous la protec- 
tion d'une monarchie eiiropi-enne, seul moyeu de salut qui lui reste. Ce 
moyen est. il nous semble, celui que la France doit preferer. ..Le seul parti 
veritablemeut fort est le parti royaliste, autour duquel %-iennent se grouper 
presque tons les Europi5ens, les Californiens rest^s honnetes gens, et meme 
ceux qui ont pilli5 les missions; en un mot tons les habitants qui par leur reli- 
gion, leurs mceurs, leur langue, et leur origine sont naturellement antipa- 
thiques aux Anglais et aux Amijricains. . .Tons ces hommes se voient sur le point 
d'etre livresa une race impitoy.ible, et le sort de notro malheureux Canada, 
celui des Florides espagnoles et du Texas, n'est gu^re de nature il les rassurer. 
C'cst done vers rEurope catlioliquo qu'ils tournent leurs regards, car lis 
sentent fort bien qu'elle seulo pent les soustraire h, la domination de deux 
puissances qu'ils redoutent (^'galoment. ' Mofras, Exploration, ii. G8-71. July 
20, 1841, Mofras writes that one or two French frigates will hereafter visit 
the coast of Cal. eaoli year. Pko, Doc, MS., ii. 13. 


that of immigration, making delay a positive advan- 
tage; and making certain the coming of a day when, if 
action by the others could also be delayed, the playing 
of a trump-card in the Texas manner would secure the 
stakes. Moreover, the European powers were deterred 
from prompt action, not only by the diiSculty of mak- 
ing a satisfactory bargain with Mexico, but by other 
l^rospective obstacles likely to arise from efforts to en- 
force the precepts of the Monroe doctrine; for Cali- 
fornia, her golden treasure being unknown, was not 
desired at the price of a war with the United States. 

It was in 1841 that overland immigration proper 
may be said to have begun; though men had before 
come to California by land, as it may be well to re- 
state briefly, en resume, before proceeding to record 
the companies and trips of this jeixv. Jedediah Smith 
from Salt Lake, with a party of hunters, in August 
1826, went down to the Colorado, and crossed over 
from Mojave to San Gabriel in December. In May 
1827 Smith and two men crossed the sierra and went 
to Salt Lake, returning before October with eight 
men. These were the first overland trips by a direct 
mountain route; but the exact routes are not known, 
nor is it known whether Smith went and returned by 
the same route. Several of Smith's men remained in 
California. Parties of the Hudson's Bay Company 
entered California in 1828-9 under McLeod and Og- 
den, the former from the north and the latter perhaps 
from the east by Smith's last trail. After 1830 the 
trappers came down from the Columbia nearly every 
year. The Patties from Santa Fd, in March 1828, 
made their appearance with six trappers at San Diego, 
being l)rought as prisoners from Baja California. Sev- 
eral of the number remained in the country. In 1830 
Ewing Young came from New Mexico with a party 
of hunters, all of whom went back. In 1831 Will- 
iam WoHskill brought a company of hunters i'voni 
New Mexico by a routt; that lay north of the Colo- 


rado down to Mojave, not being able to cross the moun- 
tains above 36°as he had intended. Wolfskill and others 
became permanent settlers, as did Warner, who came 
with Jackson's party by the Gila route later in 1831. 
Ewing Young returned in 1832, and left many of his 
men as pioneers. The southern route from New 
Mexico, by Tucson and the Gila, was now open and 
often traversed, a few immigrants in small parties or 
in company with the native traders coming over it 
each year after 1831. The second party to cross the 
sierra westward was that under Walker, who with some 
forty exploring trappers came from Salt Lake in 1833. 
Their course was down the Mary, or Ogden, River to 
its sink, and thence probably by Walker lake and river 
over the mountains to the head waters of the Mer- 
ced, nothing more definite being known. Walker re- 
turned in 1834 through vi^hat has since been known as 
Walker Pass; but several of his men remained behind. 
There are no other companies that require notice; but 
it should be noted that of the men who came subse- 
quently from New Mexico, several, like John R. 
Wolfskill and William Pope, came rather as regular 
immigrants than as hunters or adventurers ; while a few, 
like Marsh, regarded Missouri rather than New Mexico 
as their starting-point. In the same connection I may 
also state that Sutter in 1838, Wiggins, Button, and 
others in 1839, and others probably in 1840 crossed the 
country to Oregon with more or less definite ideas of 
settling in California. There had been in all about fifty 
men who had settled in the country before 1841, com- 
ing by land; but hardly a dozen of the number had left 
their old homes with a deliberate purpose of finding 
new ones on the Pacific coast; and only two parties, 
those of Smith and Walker, neither composed of im- 
migrants proper, had crossed the mountains direct to 

The years 1839-41 were in the western frontier re- 
gions beyond the Mississippi years of hard times and 

"For details, see vol. iii., chap, vi., x!^.; and chap. iv. of this vol. 


discontent among the settlers, at least to an extent 
which' turned the popular attention toward other lands. 
The people were all emigrants by profession, and con- 
tinued movement westward was their normal condition. 
Highly colored rumors were in circulation about Cal- 
ifornia's genial skies and fertile lands to be had for 
the asking. They came by way of New Mexico and 
Oregon, with which regions overland communication 
was frequent. The frontier newspapers reprinted ar- 
ticles from the eastern press. There was scarcely a 
county that had not its trapper visitor who told won- 
derful tales of a farther west to dwellers in a land 
which was itself the Far West, and few in which pri- 
vate letters from some old resident now in California 
did not circulate. Yet the broad intermediate stretches 
of mountain and desert, with their hostile Indians and 
unknown dangers, and conflicting rumors respecting 
the treatment of new-comers b}^ the Spaniards, made 
the undertaking of so long a journey no trifling mat- 
ter, even for those hardy frontiersmen. Our knowl- 
edge of details—rumors, enthusiasm, projects, obsta- 
cles, failures — is meagre ; but the reader's imagination 
will largely supply the want, and that without leading 
him far astray. 

In Platte county, Missouri, and the region there- 
about, the excitement ran high in the late summer 
and autumn of 1840. A leading cause was the rep- 
resentations of one Robidoux, who had been in Cali- 
fornia with the Santa Fe trappers, and pictured the 
country as an earthly paradise, not only in conversa- 
tion, but in public meetings held to consider the ex- 
pediency of emigration on a large scale. Letters from 
John Marsh to friends in Missouri contributed to fan 
the flame. An organization was efiected, committees 
were appointed, and a pledge was drawn up binding 
the signers to dispose of their property, purchase suit- 
able outfits for a trip across the plains, and to be ready 
to start from Sapling Grove, Kansas, in May 1841. 
During the winter some five hundred signed the pledge. 


SO great was the excitement. It seemed that the pop- 
ulation was about to migrate en masse. Some oppo- 
sition sprung up, however, chiefly among the merchants 
of the town of Weston, who set themselves to work 
to defeat the movement by means fair and unfair, ar- 
gument, denunciation, and ridicule — and especially l)y 
the publication in local newspapers of all that could 
be found unfavorable to California. After the excite- 
ment had cooled considerabl}^, letters of Thomas J. 
Farnham, republished from the New York papers, 
seem to have given a quietus to the scheme. Of all 
that had signed the pledge, only one was ready to 
start in the spring. 

This was John Bidwell, a man of twent3'-one years, 
a native of New York, who had migrated with his 
parents to Pennsylvania and Ohio, and without them 
to Iowa and Missouri. He had been a school-teacher, 
and had finally settled on a farm in Platte county, 
which was 'jumped' during his temporary absence. 
He thought of Texas for a home, but decided in favor 
of California; and was prominent in promoting the 
organization. Though the company was a failure, 
Bidwell found three, Robert H. Thomes, George 
Henshaw, and Michael C. Nye, who, though they 
had not signed the pledge, agreed to accompan}^ him. 
The four, with their wagons, oxen, mules, arms, and 
provisions, started for the rendezvous, being accompa- 
nied for several miles by many people of Weston to 
say good-by. Nobody was found at Sapling Grove; 
but the nucleus of a goodly company was overtaken a 
little farther along on the Kansas River; and thither 
came other small parties for a week or more from 
different parts of Missouri and Arkansas, until there 
were forty-eight men in all, with some fifteen women 
and children. This is substantially Bidwell's account.*'' 

^''Bidwell, California I84I-S; An Immigrant's Rccolhctionsi of a Trip across 
the Plains and of Men and Events in Early Days; including the Dear Fla-j llev- 
ohition. By Hon. John Bidwell, of Chico. DictcUcd by the author to .S. 6'. 
Boyntoofor the Bancroft Library, 1S77. MS., fol., 233 p. This title is suf- 
ficiently explanatory. The author has resided in Cal. since 1841, and is one 


Respecting the other small parties or 'messes' that 
came together on the Kansas, we know but little in 
detail ; of most, nothing at all. It is easy to imagine 
that each had resulted from circumstances similar in 
their general features to those described hy Bidwell. 
One of them, organized at St Louis, was headed by 
Josiah Belden, and included Chandler, Brolaski, and 
Shotwell. Belden was a native of Connecticut, who 
had lived in New York, Louisiana, and Mississippi, 
before coming to Missouri. This party joined others 
at Independence before going on to the Kansas. ^'^ 
Another mess was headed by Robert Rickman, an- 
other by John Bartleson, and still another probably 
by Joseph B. Chiles. One party, including Cliarles 
Weber, did not join the company until several daJ^s 
after the start; and one party, as we shall see, was 
too late to join it at all. On February 1st there had 
been a public meeting at Independence, at which fifty- 
eight had agreed to make the trip to California; and 
doubtless a part of these helped to make up the com- 
pany of which I am speaking, thougli their proposed 
route at that time seems to have been b}^ Santa Fe." 

of the best known and most respected men in the state. It is needless to add 
that his narrative gives a vivid and accurate picture, not only of the overland 
trip, but of all that came under his observation down to 1S48. 

'" Bi-lden, Historical Statement of Facts on California. By Joaiah Belden of 
Santa Clara Co. Dictated for the Bancroft Library, 1S7S. MS., 70 p. The 
author has been a prominent citizen of Cal. ; and though his narrative is not 
so full as that of Bidwell respecting the journey overland, it contains many 
interesting facts about early days, particularly about the manners and customs 
of the people in California. 

'' The account of this meeting seems to have been published in the N. Y. 
Journal of Commerce, March 30, 18-il; but I find itiu the Colonial ilarjazine, 
V. 2"29; and also a reference in the Honolulu Polynesian, ii. 79. Some of the 
resolutions adopted were as follows: 'That our object in going there is that 
of peace and good-will toward the people and govt of Cal., and our principal 
inducement for emigrating to that country is that we believe it, from the best 
information we have been able to procure, to be more congenial to our interests 
and enjoymentthan thatof our present location. That as this company wishes 
to cooperate with all others that may design to emigrate to Cal. the ensuing 
spring, it is recommended that all such companies and individuals rendezvous 
at the Sapling Grove on the old Sta V6 route, about 9 miles west of the Mo. 
line, against the 10th of May next, at which time and place they request the 
concurrence of all other companies and individuals. That inasmuch as other 
companies are expected to join them, the election of officers to conduct the 
expedition be deferred till the general rendezvous. That all persons, eitlier 
single or having families, shall be provided with a sufficiency of provisions 


It should be borne in mind that not all of the com- 
pany had definitely resolved to settle iu California, 
some being bent mainly on adventure. 

The company was organized May 1 8th at the Kan- 
sas River camp. Talbot H. Green was president, 
and Bidwell was secretary of the meeting, at which 
rules were adopted, and John Bartleson was elected 
captain. Besides Bartleson's company of forty-eiglit, 
there were seventeen other persons who were to be 
their companions for the first half of the journey. 
These were three catholic missionaries, three hunters, 
and five teamsters bound for Oregon, a Methodist 
preacher, two men on a pleasure trip, and three hunt- 
ers for the Rocky Mountains. The Oregon party 
was under the guidance of Fitzpatrick, a mountaineer 
and guide of great experience, who virtually was 
commander of the expedition so long as he remained 
with it — and fortunatel}^, for from him the inexperi- 
enced members of the California company learned 
much that was useful after his services were lost. 
The march began May 19th. The missionary party 
with five carts took the lead ; and there followed the 
wagons of Bartleson's company, eight or nine of which 
were drawn by mules or horses, and five by seventeen 
yoke of oxen. The route was one that had often 
been traversed by trappers bound to the Rocky 
Mountains and by parties bound for Oregon — up the 
north fork of the Platte, by the Sweetwater through 

and other necessaries to insure them against want till they reach the buflfalo 
region at least, which shall be determined at the general rendezvous. That 
no person shall be permitted to take any spirituous liquors, except for medical 
purposes, and this shall be determined by the company at the general rendez- 
vous. That a cannon having been presented to the company and thankfully 
accepted, Mr A. Overton be selected to have it properly equipped and amply 
supplied with ammunition at the expense of the company. That Marsh'.s 
route is believed to be the best by which to cross the mountains. ' In Xiles' 
RcQ., Ixi. p. 209, there is mention of a company fitting out at Independence 
in May of about 90, imder Bartleson and Rickman, to go via the Columbia; 
and another of 100 men and 30 women and children. One was to be joined 
by a caravan from Sta Y6. Evidently there were several large organizations 
similar to that described by Bidwell; fragments from all of which made up 
tho company that actually started. One party went to Sta F(5, but of this 
I shall speak later. 


the Soutli Pass, and down and up branches of Green 
River, to Bear River Valley near Great Salt Lake. 
The travellers endured the usual hardships of the long 
and tedious journey; but met with no disasters except 
the accidental death of one man — and two marriages 
between members of the caravan. To Bidwell's 
journal we are indebted for most that is known about 
the details of this expedition. ^^ 

Near Soda Springs, on Bear River, August 11th, 
the company separated, the Oregon party turning off 
northward for Fort Hall. Twelve of those who had 
intended to go to California, and several of whom did 
later reach that country, decided now to join the 
northern party, five others having left the main com- 
pany before.^^ A few also went to Fort Hall in the 
hope of bringing back some information about the 
route to California; but nothing definite was known 
there on the subject. The idea was, however, vaguely 
prevalent that the emigrants must find and follow 
Mary River; and that unless that stream were found, 
all would perish, since the deserts to the south and 
the mountains to the north were impenetrable. This 
idea came of course from the trips of Smith in 1827, 
and that of Walker in 1833. There were now left in 

'^ Bidioell, A Journey to California. No title-page, place, or date. 8vo, 
32 p. This very rare pamphlet is an abridgment of Bidwell's journal from 
day to day, which the writer sent from Bodega on JSIarch 30, 1S42, and which 
was printed in Missouri, jjrobably in that year or the next. It gives the 
names of all members, the progress and incidents of each day's march, and 
all the information about Cal. that the author had been able to gain. It is 
of course the best authority extant on the journey. The same author's Cal- 
i/ornia IS4I-S, MS., already noticed, contains also a very good narrative of 
tlie trip. Belden, in his Hist. Slatement, MS.; Chiles, in his Vixit to Cal. in 
Early Timvs, MS. ; and Hopper, in his Narrative, MS. — all members of the 
party — have given general accounts of the journey. James P. Springer, 
another member, seems to have kept a diary which I have not found, it hav- 
ing been left by the author in Mo., as he states in Taylor's DUcov. and 
Founders, i., no. 7. Some accounts published in different newspapers, and 
dealing chiefly with the names of members, I shall have occasion to notice 

'' The twelve, including all but one of those who had started with their 
families, were Carrol, Augustus Fifer (or Pfcifer), Chas W. Fliigge, D. F. 
Hill, J. M. Jones, Isaiah Kelsey, Samuel Kelsey, W. P. Overton, James Ross, 
Elislia Stone, William Fowler, and Richard Williams. Of the 3 others, Jones, 
Rogers, and Peyton had turned back eastward; Simpson had stopped at Ft 
Laramie; and Shotwell had accidentally killed himself in June. 


Bartleson's company thirty-two men — with one woman 
and child, the wife and daughter of Benjamin Kelsey — 
whose names I append in a note.^" 

For ten days the company marched down Bear 
River until within ten miles of where it empties into 
Great Salt Lake ; then turned off westward over bar- 
ren plains, being forced northward in search of water 
until, on August 27th, they encamped at a spring iu 
the mountains,-' whence Bartleson and Charles Hop- 
per proceeded in advance to find Mary River. Here 
the store of buffalo meat, previously secured en route, 
gave out, and oxen had to be killed for food. The 
company remained in camp until September 5th, then 
moving slowly forward, meeting the scouts on the 
9th, and on the 15th deciding to abandon their 
wagons,"^ with such other property as could not be 
packed on mules, horses, and oxen. So far as may be 
determined from the courses and distances given in 
the diary, the route followed was too far south to 

^0 The names, of which many lists but none accurate have been published, 
were as follows: John Bartleson (captain), Elias Barnett, Josiah Belden, Wm 
Belty, John Bidwell, Henry L. Brolaski, Dav. W. Chandler, Joseph B. Chiles, 
Grove C. Cook, James Dawson, Nic. Dawson, Talbot H. Green (Paul Geddes), 
Geo. Henshaw, Charles Hopper, Henry Huber, James John, Thos Jones, 
Andrew Kelsey, Benj. Kelsey (and family), John McDowell, Green McMahon, 
Nelson :McMahou, Micliael C. Nye, A. Gwinn Patton, Robert Rickman, John 
Roland, John L. Schwartz, James P. Springer, Robert H. Thomes, Ambrose 
Walton, Major Walton, and Charles M. Weber. 

This list I have formed from the original made by Dr Marsh on the party's 
arrival, the bonds given by citizens for the good behavior of the members, and 
Bidwell's printed journal. There is no doubt of its accuracy, except jjerhaps 
in the spelling of one or two names. As I have said, all later lists are inac- 
curate, the errors consisting mainly in omitting some names and including 
others who went to Oregon. It does not seem necessary to point out the 
inaccuracies of each. One of the best is that by Springer in Taylor's Discov. 
and Founders, i. 27. Bidwell in his MS. omits several names, as does Belden. 
The list most ^^'idely circulated was the Pioneer Overlanders of I84I, made up 
from the recollections of Thomes, Toomes, and Given, first published in the 
S. F. Bulletin of July 7, 18GS, and reprinted in many other newspapers. 
With slight variations, the same list is found, with descriptions of the joui-ne3% 
in many of the county histories. I could give a long list of references to brief 
newspaper descriptions of this overland trip, only a few of which add any- 
tliing to real knowledge of the subject. 

='Iu later trips emigrants avoided the southern detour and followed a 
south-westerly course to the Humboldt, over what is known as the 'old emi- 
grant road.' 

-■-Geo. McKinstry notes on Bidwell's journal, p. 13, that his party, iu 
ISiG, cooked their supper with the remains of these wagons. 


strike the river at the nearest point, but on the 23d, 
after crossing what was apparently the east Humboldt 
Range, they reached the south fork of the river, fol- 
lowing it for eight days, though in great trouble be- 
cause its course was toward the north-west rather 
than the south-west as they had imagined. On Octo- 
ber 2d, however, they were delighted to find the 
stream trend in the desired direction; and five days 
later were in the region of the sink. Here Bartleson, 
who had forced the company to move much faster 
than was deemed prudent, started in advance with 
his own mess of eight men; while the rest crossed 
over to and ascended what is now Walker River, 
called by them Balm River. While resting on the 
head waters of that stream on the 16th, they were re- 
joined by the captain and his half-starved companions, 
who had probably reached Walker Lake in their 
Avanderings, and had gained nothing by their haste. 
There were now but three poor oxen left for meat, 
and the lofty and apparently impassable sierra tow- 
ered before the worn-out emigrants. 

For thirteen days, from October 17th to the 30th, 
they struggled to cross the mountain barrier to the land 
of promise, in the region of what is now known as the 
Sonora Pass, from Walker River to the Stanislaus. 
I make no attempt to picture the dangers and hard- 
ships and anxieties of the half-starved band in this 
the most difficult part of their long and perilous jour- 
ney. I have no space for the details of personal ad- 
venture which impart such a fascination to the orig- 
inal printed diary, much less for those of Bidwell's 
later and more elaborate narrative. Fortunately^ in 
all the trip there were only hardshipis and no disas- 
ters.'^ On the last day, when a mule had been killed 
for meat, when most of the horses had given out or 
been stolen, when Hopper, their most experienced 
mountaineer, had begun to despair, when three of the 

^^ The Indians were nowhere hostile, though in the sierra they were dis- 
posed to pilfer. A treacherous guide was shot by Grove Cook Oct. 27tlu 


company had been missing for a week or more — they 
came suddenly in view of a valley, that of the Stanis- 
laus, which they entered on the last day of October, 
and which to their longing eyes was most beautiful, 
though parched by the sun and stripped of vegeta- 
tion by tire, since it abounded in game. Bartleson 
and his men declared that there was yet a long jour- 
ney before them, and decided to remain long enough 
to lay in a store of meat; but the rest, after killing 
thirteen deer November 1st, moved on the next day, 
confident that they were in California. The question 
of their whereabouts was settled when they met two 
of the missing men, Kelsey and Jones, who had been 
guided by Indians to Marsh's raucho, where all the 
company arrived November 4th, except the other 
missing man, James John, who had left the others 
October 20th, and who reached Sutter's Fort the 3d 
of November. 

Before narrating the reception of the immigrants 
in California, let us notice the rumors that hacl pre- 
ceded them by a quicker though more roundabout 
way. The preparations for migration on a large scale 
had been widely announced in the United States; and 
in making the announcement certain newspapers had 
spoken very plainly of the movement as a step toward 
the inevitable acquisition of the country. Extracts 
on the subject were forwarded from Washington to 
]Mexico, where they naturally created alarm on the 
part of the government. Mexican representatives 
abroad were ordered by the president to give public 
notice that any person going to California without the 
consent in due form of Mexican diplomatic or consu- 
lar agents, would do so at his own peril, the govern- 
ment incurring no responsibility for damages. At the 
same time, on May 18th, the very day on which Bar- 
tleson's company was organized in Kansas, orders were 
sent to California that no foreign immigrant should 
be permitted to remain in the country who was not 
provided with a legal passport, and that even old set- 


tiers must be required to depart unless they procured 
the cartas de segurklad required by law.^* Meanwhile 
there had been in California no special feeling against 
foreigners since the exile of Graham; the people as a 
rule were well disposed toward new-comers, and the 
authorities treated them much more leniently than 
was permitted by the spirit or letter of the laws. 
"Strangers arriving here in a lawful manner have no 
difficulty in obtaining the necessary passports either 
to reside or travel," writes a foreign resident of Mont- 
erey in February;'^'' and we shall see that there was 
but little change in this respect later, notwithstanding 
the strict orders from Mexico and apparent danger of 
American encroachment. 

Dr Marsh did not extend a very hospitable recep- 
tion to the immigrants whose coming had been pro- 
moted by his letters; at least, such was the report 
sent back to Missouri.-^ For a good price, liowever, 

"May IS, 1841, Almonte, miu. of war, to Vallejo, enclosing despatches 
from the Mex. commissioners at Washington, with clippings from the National 
Intelligencer, Globe, and other papers, a statement of instructions sent to 
Washington, and strict orders to V., as recorded in ray text. Original in 
Vallejo, Doc., MS., x. 146. Almonte says that some of the newspaper articles 
are written in a peaceable and friendly tone; but no more so than were the 
expressions of Austin's colony and other immigrants who afterwards raised 
the standard of revolt in Texas. May 20th, sup. govt to Alvarado on the 
same topic, recommending vigilance and strictness. Sup. Govt St. Pnp., MS., 
xvi. 20. Sept., notice from N. Orleans consulate that none may settle or 
travel in Cal. without passports. Niks' Eeg., Ixi. 100. 1842, letter of Mex. 
min. to Baltimore Americnn, in Id., Ixui. 277. Dec. 31, 1840, to Dec. 1841, 
minor orders from Mex. and circulated in Cal., requiring compliance with the 
passport law of May 1, 1828. Dept. Rec, MS., xii. IG; Sup. Govt St. Pap., 
MS., xvi. 13; Dcpl. St. Pap., MS., iv. 138; Id., Monterey, iv. 35; Sta B. Arch., 
MS., 31; .9. Josi, Arch., MS., ii. 40. Aug. 1, 1841, preliminary instructions 
for exact compliance with the passport regulations of May 1, 1828. Dept. St. 
Pap., Mont., MS., viii. 4-5. 

'^Honolulu Polynesian, i. 167. Jan. 21st-23d, Feb. 7th, proposition to tax 
unnaturalized foreignersfor lumber cut andsold by them. Monterey, Arch. , MS., 
viii. 2-3; S. Josi, Arch., MS., iii. 41, 44. Mar. 5th-Sth, Stearns fined for 
harboring a deserter from the Alert. Los Anrieles, Arch., MS., ii. 36-7, 30— IJ. 

^ 'To my friends and others I must speak candidly of Dr Marsh. What 
he was in Missouri I cannot say. I speak for the emigrant, that he may be 
on his guard, and not be gulled as some have been on coming to this country 
by him. He is perhaps the meanest man in California. After the company 
had encamped near his house about two days, and there had been killed for 
them a small hog and a bullock, he began to complain of his poverty, saying 
"the company liad already been more than §100 expense to him — God knew 
whether he would ever get a real of it or not." But i^oor as the company was, 
he had already got 5 times the value of his pig and bullock in dilTerent kinds 
UisT. Cal., Vol. IV. 18 


he rendered some service. On November 5th he no- 
tified the sub-prefect of the arrival of the thirty-one 
men, who after resting a while at his rancho would 
present themselves to prove their lawful intentions.^'^ 
Next day about half the company started for San Jose, 
and on reaching that place were put under arrest and 
lodged in the calaboose, though treated with kindness 
and given to understand that the arrest was little 
more than a formality. Vallejo was at Mission San 
Josd, and to him the matter was referred by Sub-pre- 
fect Suiiol. His position was a delicate one; his or- 
ders from Mexico were explicit; yet the new-comers 
had no passports, and alleged their ignorance that 
such documents were necessary. The excuse was 
absurd, since it is hardly possible that nothing had 
been said in Missouri of passport requirements; 
but Vallejo had no disposition — even if he had the 
power, which is doubtful — to drive the strangers back 
into the mountains to perish. He had the prisoners 
brought to the mission, and on the 11th sent one of 
them, Nj'^e, with a letter to Marsh, who was required 
to come and give an account of his conduct in inviting 
such an immigration, and also to explain the intentions 
of the strangers.'^ On Marsh's arrival and after due 
deliberation, Vallejo decided on the 13th to assume 
the responsibility of granting temporary passes to 
serve until the foreigners could take the proper steps 
to legalize their residence, they inducing well known 
citizens to become bondsmen for their good behavior.^^ 

of articles — powder, lead, knives, etc. He charged the company $3 apiece 
to go and get their passports — a good price for bis services.' Bidwell's Jour- 
ney, .31. There is much more on Marsh's character. 

■-'Nov. 5, 1841, Marsh to sub-prefect. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 300. In- 
cludes an accurate list of all the names. 

28Nov. 11th, V. to Marsh. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 335. Bidwell, Journey, 
20, who was not one of the 15 who went to S. JosiS, notes the arrival of Nye 
with the summons to Marsh. Hopper, Narr., MS., 3-4, also mentions the 
fact; but he says there was only 5, Chiles, Bartleson, McDowell, Nye, and 
himself, who went to S. Jos6. 

^'Nov. 13th, corresp. between V. and the sub-prefect, in which the for- 
mer states that the Missourians are permitted to remain and travel. It seems 
they had with them a letter from Marsh, urging some of them to come to 
.Cal. De^jt. St. Pap., S. Jos6, MS., v. 104-5; Id., Ben. Pre/, y Juzg., iv. 29; 


All agree that Vallejo, as well as other Californians, 
treated them with consideration and kindness, taking 
great pains to explain the laws under which he was 
obliged to act.^*^ In his reports to the governor and 
supreme government, the general stated frankly what 
he had clone, and his belief that he "had emploj-ed 
the only means to reconcile justice with circumstances 
and duty with prudence, the country having the dire 
alternative of consenting to what it cannot prevent, or 
commanding without being able to enforce, for want 
of military strength." He even seems to have taken 
a certain degree of pleasure in preaching to Alvarado 
a sermon on the defenceless condition and impending 
danger of the country from the text, "I told you how 
it would be if my plans were not followed in the mat- 
ter of military organization;" while the governor in 
his report to Mexico implied that Vallejo had acted 
jjnwisely in permitting the foreigners to remain, 
though he himself had not interfered, wishing to 
avoid trouble with the general.^^ Meanwhile the im- 
migrants scattered in a few days to various parts of 

Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 339; Monterey, Arch., MS., x. 20. Nov. 17tli, V. to 
Ignacio Alviso, recommending 5 of the company, not named, who go to So- 
noma to see the country with a view to settlement. They are to be provided 
with room and food until he arrives. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 350. Nov. 13th, 
Marsh becomes security for 15 of the men, Rickman, Bartleson, Green, Hop- 
per, Patton, Chandler, Nye, Barnett, McDowell, the Kelseys, Chiles, Cook, 
G. McMahon, and M. Walton. Id., x. 340. Nov. 7th (17th ?), a kind of pass 
from Vallejo for Belty, Roland, Schwartz, and Birny (?) Dawson. S. Josi, 
Arch., MS.', ii. 40. Nov. 18th, Thos G. Bowen becomes security for Bidwell, 
Springer, N. McMahon, N. Dawson, and A. Walton. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 
355. Dec. 8th, John A. Sutter becomes security for Huber, John, and Weber. 
Id., X. 375. For the others, Belden, Brolaski, Henshaw, Jones, and Thomes, 
the bondsman was J. A. Forbes, who is named by Belden, Hist. Statemeii/, 
MS., 14-15. 

"*My narratives from memory by Bidwell, Belden, Chiles, and Hopper 
contain many minor differences about the events of these days which I have 
no space to notice. 

^' Nov. 17th. V. to A., declaiing that there is no power to enforce the law, 
though he is 'filled with horror at the audacity' of the American newspapers. 
Doubtless many more immigrants will come soon. Vallejo, Doc, MS., x. 349. 
About same date, V. to min. of war. He gives the number of the company 
as 33, and says a larger party is expected. Id., x. 147. Nov. 30th, A. to V. 
It is necessary to ask promptly for assistance, and if none comes, to prepare 
for a brave defence, and not tamely submit to foreign domination, fd., x. 
3G9. Jan. 11, 1842, A. to min. of rel. The general is frightened, and owns 
liisinabiUty to prevent the entry of 30 adventurers. Dept. Eec, MS.,xiii. «-13. 


the country, whither it is not my present purpose to 
follow them. Many went for a time to Sutter's Fort.^^ 
Chiles and Hopper travelled quite extensively over the 
northern portion of the department, and the next 
year, as we shall see, went back east with seven of 
their companions. It should be added also that in 
December Charles Flugge, one of the company that 
had gone to Oregon, came down to New Helvetia 
with the trappers, and reported that his companions 
had arrived safely, and were contented in the north. 

Another party of immigrants, twenty-five in num- 
ber, came this year, arriving at Los Angeles nearly 
at the same time that the Bartleson party reached 
San Jose. This company M'as organized in New Mex- 
ico, where most of the members had for a time re- 
sided; but a few men, including Given and Toomes, 
had come to Santa Fe from Missouri with the inten- 
tion of going to California. They had formed one of the 
small parties which had planned to meet at Indepen- 
dence, but which, arriving at the rendezvous after the 
company had started, preferred to follow the Santa 
Fe trail with a large party rather than take the risks 
of starting alone on the northern route.^ There were 

^'^Bidwell was one of these, and in his California, MS., 75-8, he relates 
that Marsh brought passports for those who haJ not gone to S. Jos6, and 
delivered them as fast as the men could i)ay his price; but the writer got 
none, and subsequently on going to the pueblo was arrested and kept in jail 
for several daj's until Bowen procured him his pass from Vallejo without 
charge. The author is somewhat bitter against the doctor, and evidently 
had some serious personal misunderstanding with him. Marsh, Letter to 
Com. Jones, MS., p. 13-14, speaks of the arrival of the company at his 
house without any other guide than a letter he had witten, and also of their 
kind reception by the authorities. 

'^ Given's statement. At the meeting of Feb. 1st at Independence, the ren- 
dezvous at Sapling Grove is spoken of as being on the old Sta F6 route; and 
one of the resolutions declares Marsh's route the best — though this may mean 
the route recommended by Marsh rather than the one followed by him. Colo- 
nial Mag., V. 229. In Niles' Reg., Ixi. 209, it is stated that one of the com- 
panies fitting out at Independence is to be joined by a party from Sta F<5. 
In the Pioneer Overlanders it is stated, on the authority of Toomes, that the 
two companies both started from Independence by different routes. Lancey, 
Cniise of the Dale, 172, mentions the Workman party as having started from 
Jlissouri. Toomes was one of the few that came from Missouri direct, and 
current confusion on the subject resulted cliiedy from his statements, not 
however intended to deceive. 


political reasons which influenced the departure of 
Workman and Rowland, the organizers and leaders 
of the company, and probably of some others. There 
was much excitement in New Mexico over rumors of 
a design to embroil that country in the Texan trou- 
bles; and these men were suspected of being concerned 
in the plot.^ The}' started from Abiquiu in Septem- 
ber, crossed the Colorado, and followed the same route 
as that taken by Wolfskill in 1831, which had often 
been chosen by the New Mexican traders. They 
drove a flock of sheep for food; met with no adven- 
tures and few hardships; and arrived at San Gabriel 
early in November.^^ Two, Workman and Gordon, 
brought their families on this trip, as others did later, 
about half of the whole number coming in quest of 
2")ermanent homes. Others were in search of adven- 
tures, and soon found their way back to New Mexico;^® 
while three, Gamble, Lyman, and Mead, were men 
of scientific proclivities, and spent but a short time in 
California. The immigrants were in company part of 

'* Wilson's Ohservations, MS., 21-2. The suspicion followed them to, 
and gave them some little trouble about getting lands. Feb. 1S42, corresij. 
with reference to extract from Diario del Gobieriio, declaring R. and W. trai- 
tors. Bept. St. Pap., MS., xviii. 66; Id., Ben. Pre/, y Juzcj., iii. 69-71. 

'^Lancey, Cruise of the Dale, 50, 17"2, says they arrived at the S. Diego 
mission Nov. 10th, and remained over winter; Toomes, 
Overland Pioneers of ISJfl, says they reached Cal. Nov. 10th. The going 
to S. Diego is also mentioned in the West Shore Gazette, Yolo Co., 8-9. Oct. 
19th, J. F. Vigil to Prefect Argiiello, mentioning the approach of a party of 
American traders and colonists. S. Diego, Areh., MS., 279. Dec. 2d, 7th, an- 
nouncement of arrival of N. Mexicans and foreigners, 134 persons, at Angeles. 
Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Pref. y Jiizg., MS., iii. 99-108. Dec. 6th, Alvarado to 
Castro. Has heard that a party of strangers is approaching Angeles, and fears 
there is danger ahead. VaUejo, Doc., MS., x. 373. Jan. 11, 1842, A. to min. 
of rel. Has lieard of the approach of 50 or 60 foreigners. Castro will march 
to meet them, and will act according to circumstances. Needs reenforce- 
ments, but will do his best to save the country. Dept. ]!ec., MS., xiii. 13-15. 

"" Benjamin D. Wilson, a native of Tenn., 30 years of age, who had traded 
in Miss., joined the trappers, and lived in N. Mexico and the surrounding 
regions since 1833, was one of the men who had no idea of settling in Cal., 
but intended to go to China. He liked the country, however, and spent the 
rest of his life in it, being a widely known and respected citi2en. In 1877, 
a few months before his death, 'Don Benito,' as he was commonly called, 
dictated at his ranch of Lake Vineyard for my use his Observations on Early 
Day.-: ill Cidfornia and New Mexico, MS., fol. 113 p., signed with the au- 
thor's autogiaph Dec. 6, 1877. This not only contains the best nan-ative ex- 
tant on the Workman-Rowland company, but is in many other respects a 
valuable addition to my collection. 


the way with the New Mexican traders, and there 
were three native families who came with them to re- 
main. ^'^ Rowland on his arrival furnished to the au- 
thorities a list of his companions, with a statement of 
their intention to obey all legal requirements. I ap- 
pend in a note a complete list of the company.^ 

There is little to be said of other parties that came 
in 1841. Joseph R. Walker, unless the archive record 
is at fault, came to southern California in the spring 
with a party of trading trappers;"^ and later in the 
year El Cojo, or 'Peg-leg,' Smith was reported to have 
entered the Tulares with a band of horse-thieves;*" 
but there is no record that these leaders left any of 
their men in the country. Joel P. Walker, a brother 
of Joseph R., with two other settlers, Burrows and 
Nichols, and their families, came down from Oregon 
with Emmons' party of the U. S. exploring expedi- 
tion, to Sutter's Fort in October.*^ Walker's family 

'• These were Vaca, Trujillo, and Salazar, accordiDg to Rowland, Lista, 
MS. Hayes, Emicj. Notcn, 642-3, tells us that Trujillo obtaioed lands at 
Agua Manza (S. Bernardino Co.), and formed a settlement of San Salvador. 
Also that Isaac Slover, of Pattie's party in 1S28, came with him. 

'^ Workman- Rowland immigrant company of 1S41: *Fred. Bachelor, 
*rrank Bedibey, *Jame3 Doke, Jacob Frankfort, Isaac Given, *Wm Gamble, 
Wm Gordon, *Frank Gwinn, *Wade Hampton, Wm Knight, Thos Lindsay, 
*L. (or J. H.) Lyman, *John McClure, James D. Mead, Wm C. Moon, John 
Rowland, Daniel Sexton, Hiram Taylor, *Tibeau, Albert G. Toomes, Michael 
White (of 1829), Benj. D. Wilson, and Wm Workman. Those who did not 
remain in Cal. are marked by a *. John Behn and John Reed are named by 
Wilson and others as members of the party, but are not included in Row- 
land, Lista de los qite le acompanan en su llegada al Tcrritorlo de Alta Califor- 
nia, MS., signed by Rowland, and copy certified by Manuel Dominguez, 
juez, Feb. 26, 1842. The lists in Toonies' Overl. Pion.; Lancey's Cruise, 50, 
172; Yolo Co. Hist., 13; Bdden's Hist. Statement, MS.; and others agree 
with each other, and all are probably taken from the first. They all omit 
many names, and add that of a Mr Pickman, which I omit. See also S. F. 
Herald, June 1.5, 1856. Mofras, Explor., i. 311, says that 100 Americans 
arrived from N. Mexico in October; and Peirce, Letter to Cummins, testifies 
that 200 arrived during his stay of two months. D. W. Alexander and Jean 
B. Ronelle seem to have come from N. Mex. this year. 

^^Feb. 10, 1841, prefect at Angeles advises gov. that Walker vrith two 
Americans, and commanding a party of 12, has come with a passport from 
the Mexican charge d'aflfaires at Washington to buy horses, and stay two 
months. Walker complains of robberies by the Chaguanosos. Dept. St. 
Pap., Ben. Pre/, y Juzcj., MS., iv. 3. There may be an error about the 

*°,S. Dierjo, Arch., MS., 279. 

" wakes' Narr., v. 142; also Walker's own Narrative of Adventures thro' 


consisted of his wife and five children. Mrs Walker 
seems to have been the first American woman in the 
Sacramento Valley, or who came to California by 
land; Mrs Kelsey, of the Bartleson company, to 
whom the honor is usually accredited, arriving some 
twenty days later.*^ 

New names of foreigners in the records of 1841, 
not including the muster-rolls of the U. S. exploring 
expedition, number nearly two hundred, all of them 
given elsewhere in my Pioneer Register, and many 
earlier in this chapter, in connection with narratives 
of the immigrant parties. There were, however, only 
sixty-seven entitled to be classed as pioneer residents, 
and these are named in the appended list.^^ Most prom- 
inent as citizens of California were Belden, Bidwell, 
Chiles, Green, LeidesdorflP, Rowland, Stephen Smith, 
Temple, Thomes, Toomes, Weber, Wilson, and Work- 
man; and thirteen of all the number still survived, I 
think, in 1884. 

In presenting the country's annals year by year, it 

Alabama, Florida, N. Mexico, Oregon, and California, h/ a Pioneer of Pio- 
neers. Dictated by Joel P. WaK-er to R. A. Thompson,'US., p. 10-11. He 
says that he came in Robert Peel's company. Several Oregon settlers came 
with Emmons as assistants, most of whom soon i-etumed to the nortli. 
These were Henry Wood, Calvin Tibbetts, Henry Black, and Warfields. 
The latter was accompanied by his family, and may have remained* 

" Wilkes mentions also a sister of Walker, but is probably in error, as 
Walker says nothing of her. Burrows brought his wife, but she may not 
have been American. Mrs W. brought with her a, child less than a year old. 

*^ Pioneers of 1S41 : *David W. Alexander, Joseph Allshouse, Ed. Ardisson, 
Pierre AtiUan, Elias Bamett, John Behn (?), *Josiah Belden, Wm Belty, *John 
Bidwell, *Robert Birnie, Bradley (?), Fred. Buel (?), Joseph W. Buzzell (?), 
Henri Cambuston, Dav. W. Chandler, *Joseph B. Chiles, Eph. Coffin, Grove 
C. Cook, *Peter Daveson, Robert G. Davis, Nic. Dawson, Wolberton Days (?), 
Manuel Dutra de Vargas, Francis Ermatinger, Wm Fife, Charles W. Fliigge, 
Rich. Fourcade, Jacob Frankfort, Wm Gamble, *Isaac Given, Wm Gordon, 
Benj. Grable (?), *Talbot H. Green, Fred. Hegel (?), Charles Hopper, *Henry 
Huber, Thos .Jones, Andrew Kelsey, Benj. Kelsey, Wm Knight, Wm A. 
Leidesdorfif, *Jo3 Y. Limantour, Thos Lindsay, *Green McMahon, Wm C. 
Moon, Michael C. Nye, James Rock, John Roderick, *John Rose, Jean B. Rou- 
elle (?), John Rowland, John Schwartz, *Daniel Sexton, James Smith, Ste- 
phen Smith, Thos Smith, James P. Springer, Hiram Taylor, Hiram Teal, 
Francis P. F. Temple, Robert H. Thomes, Rufus Titcomb, Albert G. Toomes, 
Joel P. AValkcr, Charles M. Weber, Benj. D. Wilson, and Wm Workman. 
Survivors of 1884 are marked with a *; but this in some instances means no 
more than that I have not heard of the man's death. 


is of course impracticable to notice ttie record of old 
settlers individually; and a mere list of such of them 
as appear on the records would have little or no in- 
terest. For them, therefore, as for the experience of 
new-comers, I refer to the biographical sketches. 
Among the most important items in this connection, 
not already recorded, I may note that Nicholas Fink, 
of 1836, was robbed and murdered at Los Angeles in 
January, for which crime three men were executed in 
April; Anthony Campbell, of 1840, was murdered at 
San Jose in August, and the murderer was put to 
death in July of the next year; Daniel Ferguson, of ■ 
1824, was killed in Salinas Valley in July, on suspi- 
cion of having committed which crime a Mexican was 
banished; Isaac Sparks, of 1832, was this year in no 
end of trouble by reason of his aiBorous irregularities; 
James Weeks, of 1831, was assaulted and stabbed in 
a quarrel at Santa Cruz; William Pope, who came 
with Pattie in 1828, accidentally killed himself at his 
rancho in Pope Valley; and J. J. Warner, of 1831, 
returned from a visit to the east, where he had util- 
ized his time in behalf of both his native and adopted 
country, by delivering a lecture on the natural advan- 
tages of California. 




—The Governor's Despatches — Departure of the Comisionados 
CastaSares and Prudon— Too Late— Manuel Micheltoeena Ap- 
pointed Governoe and Comandante General — His Instructions^ 
Raising an Army of Convicts— The Journey — Batallon Fijo— List 
OF Officers — Arrival at San Diego— At Los Angeles — Vallejo 
Turns over the Military Command — Alvarado Disappointed but 
Submissive — Pkoclamation — Micheltoeena Assumes the Governor- 
ship at Angeles in December — Junta Depaktamental — Tribunal de 
JnsTiciA— Discovery of Gold. 

Victor Prudon arrived at Monterey January 1, 
1842, on his way to Mexico as Vallejo's commissioner 
to the supreme government.^ The schooner California, 
which was to carry him and his despatclies, had ar- 
rived from San Francisco the day before. But difS- 
culties presented themselves. Prudon called on 
Alvarado to ask if his despatches were ready. "What 
despatches?" "Those for the interior." "Ah!" said 
the governor, "I have not yet concluded what to do; 
I am awaiting the arrival of my compadre Castro to 
hold a conference." He then explained the reasons 
for his hesitation, namely: that Bustamante having 
been succeeded by Santa Anna, California had no 
protector in Mexico; he feared the schooner might be 
seized at Acapulco; and that there was no money in 
the treasury to pay expenses of the commission. 

1 Si-e chap. vii. of this vol. for Prudon 's appointment and the circumstances 
attending it. 



Abrego, Jimeno, Osio, and others of Alvarado's party, 
including Castro, wlio soon arrived, took the same 
view.^ Apparently there was a plot to prevent his 
departure, or at least to devise some scheme by which 
the object of his mission might be defeated. At least 
Prudon took this view of it, and wrote some sensa- 
tional reports to Vallejo on the subject, warning the 
general against the intrigues of his foes and pretended 

Finally, however, the obstacles were overcome and 
Alvai'ado consented to despatch the schooner for Aca- 
pulco, to carry not only Vallejo's commissioner, but 
his own. There are indications that this consent 
may have been given under the belief that Prudon 
went accredited to Bustamante and not to the new 
president — a fact likely to put him at a disadvantage 
in his diplomatic efforts against the governor, who 
addressed his despatches with a proper amount of 
flattery to Santa Anna.* Alvarado's commissioners 

' Jan. 2, 1S42, Abrego to Vallejo, declaring that there is no money to cash 
his order in favor of Prudon for §1,500, though a French ship just arriyed 
may pay her duties in coin. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 6. Jan. 9th-10th, Abrego 
finally offers and P. accepts S500 in money and §1,000 in cloths. Id., si. 10-20, 
27. In P. 's original instractions of Dec. (21st), a draft for §8,000 on Barrios is 
mentioned, the remainder of which, after paying expenses, was to be invested 
in war material. Id., xiv. 28. So it seems that the general had made provi- 
sion for financial obstacles. 

'Jan. 5th, Cth, 8th, P. to V. Vcdlejo, Doc, MS., xi. 11-12, 15-16. He 
declares that there is a conspiracy to intercept aU V.'s coromunications, and 
to slander him in Mexico. Describes a di-unken brawl of Castro and his com- 
panions, which had put the town in a tumult. Fears they may manage to 
get the general's despatches from Capt. Cooper by deception. Abrego refuses 
to pay even §50 for writer's present expenses. Feai'S his own life is in danger. 
Matters have a most alarming aspect. ' Poor Rodriguez is in bed because of a 
caniug from Castro. ' Castro has deceived V. when he pretended to be dissatis- 
fied with Alvarado's acts. The California will probably sail, or pretend to 
sail, for the Islands. Alvarado's agents will go accredited to Santa Anna, and 
V. will be seriously compromised. Jan. 2d, Roberto Pardo from Sta Barbara 
warns Vallejo not to trust the azules, as they vrill do their best to upset him. 
Id., xi. 7. Who the azules (blues) were is not very clear: but Vallejo, Jlisi. 
Cat. , MS. , iv. 242-.3, says they were Pico, Carrillo, and others, who were al- 
ready beginning to plot in favor of English schemes. 

* Vallejo's version, Hist. Cat., MS., iv. 259-66, is that the first plan 
against him was to despatch the California with A. 's agents to Santa Anna 
before Prudon could be ready; but finally in the belief that V.'s despatches 
were addressed to Bustamante, and in the fear that Prudon might wait to 
have them changed and follow quickly in another vessel, it was decided to 
let him go on the schooner. V. had originally addressed his communica- 
tions to Bustamante; but on hearing of the change, at once forwarded to 


were Manuel Castauares — a brother to Don Jose 
Maria, who had recently come from Mexico with an 
appointment as administrator of customs, whicli place 
for some unknown reason he had not assumed — and 
Francisco Rivera. Their exact instructions are not 
known, but we have Alvarado's despatches to the 
minister of relations. In the first, while admitting 
that his government was involved in some slight dif- 
ficulties from lack of funds and lack of cooperation 
on the part of the general, he pictured the situation 
of the country as in most respects satisfactory. The 
Russians were at last to leave California; Sutter's 
establishment had been in eveiy way a great advan- 
tage; and most current complaints were without 
foundation. The natives were now at peace, and 
when hostile had been and could be easily controlled 
by the auxiliary force of citizens. The number of 
civil servants was already smaller than was called for 
by law, but he would gladly reduce it for the benefit 
of the treasury if authorized to do so. The general 
with a force amply sufliicient for actual needs had con- 
fessed his inability to prevent the entry of thirty 
armed adventurers from Missouri, and had most un- 
wisely given them passports. "There are ambitious 
schemes affecting this department," he continues, 
"and endangering the integrity of Mexican territory. 
The comaudante general is afraid, and I shall have to 
act according to circumstances; let the government 
decide whether it be best to authorize me to raise 
forces or to send Mexican troops." In his second 

Prudon blank sheets o£ official paper with his signatures and rubric, to be 
filled out and substituted for the others — au operation rendered easy by the 
fact that Prudon as his secretary had written the originals. The messenger 
between Monterey and Sonoma allowed himself to bo seduced and showed 
his papers to the spies of Castro and Alvarado; but he had been provided 
with a carta gansa, or decoy letter, intended to be shown, and thus the con- 
spirators were thrown off the scent! Alvarado, Nist. Cal., MS., iv. 19.3-20.3, 
admits that it was not thought best to let Prudon reach Mexico before his 
own commissioner; but says the only way to prevent it was to refuse money 
from the treasury. This measure became useless, because V. furnished the 
money required. He does not admit that Prudon outwitted him, and thinks 
the despatches to Bustamante were not changed. 


despatch, in view of the arrival of another party of 
foreigners from New Mexico, he admitted that it 
might be well to send 150 or 200 men "with some 
pecuniary resources;" though confident that if the 
foreign invasion should occur before the arrival of 
troops he would still be able to defend the national 
honor I It was certainly an ingenious argument, not 
unlikely to be effective with a new administration 
hard pressed for funds, and ready to favor any theory 
respecting a distant province that did not involve 

The nature of Vallejo's despatches has already been 
stated, and about his plans there is no mystery what- 
ever." Neither is there room for doubt that Casta- 
iiares' mission was simply to prevent the success of 
the general's project of uniting the two commands in 
a Mexican officer, and to maintain the Californian 
government in statu quo. There is no evidence that 
Vallejo desired the governorship, or that Alvarado 
plotted to remove Vallejo from the military com- 
mand;' neither are we to credit Alvarado's later state- 
ment that he had sent a commissioner to Mexico to 
urge the acceptance of his resignation offei-ed the 3'ear 
before.* Before the middle of January the expedi- 
tion was ready, and waiting only for a wind;'' and the 
alleged conspirators hastened to assure Vallejo that 
all the charges against them had been groundless.^" 

5 Jan. 2d, 11th, A. to min. of rel. Dept. Bee, MS., xiii. 6-15. 

^ See chap. vii. of this vol. 

'See chap. vii. of this vol. Hall, Hist. S. Josi, 133-4, says: 'Each had 
complained of the other to the govt, and each had solicited the removal of the 
other from official position.' Robinson, L\fe in CcU., 205-6, also says that 
Alvarado had solicited the appointment of a new general with an additional 
force. Vallejo, Jlist. Cat., MS., iv. 292, says he heard from a friend at Aca- 
pulco that Castanares was trying to induce Gen. Duqvie to come to take the 
command in Cal. ; also that the Carrillos were plotting to make au indepen- 
dent state of baja and southern Cal. 

^Sept. 24th, A. 's proclamation announcing Micheltorena's arrival. Dept. 
St. Pap., MS., X. 30. Robinson, Statement, MS., 26-7, also thinks A. 

had asked for the ajipointment of a s 

' Jan. 13th, A. to min. of war, announcing the sailing of the California with 
despatches. Dept. Bee., 'MS., xiii. 15. Jan. 15th, Prudon to V. All arrange- 
ments completed. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 27. 

'"Jan. 17th, Abrego to V. Reports of revolutionary movements at Mon- 
terey are false — only some extravagant toasts by men who had drunk deeply. 


The California sailed at last from Monterey the 
20th of January, and landed the commissioners of the 
rival dignitaries at Acapulco the 14th of February." 
From the coast they proceeded to the capital, where 
they arrived in time to learn that nearly a month be- 
fore a new governor and comandante general had been 
appointed to rule over California, and all the diplo- 
macy and intrigue attendant upon their departure had 
been wasted. Their mission was not, however, en- 
tirely without results, since from President Santa 
Anna Prudon received a confirmation of his captain's 
commission, obtaining also for his chief the promotion 
of Captain Vallejo to be Lieutenant-colonel of the 
regular army; while INIanuel Castanares was newly ap- 
pointed administrator of customs, and brought for Al- 
varado a commission as colonel of auxiliary troops — a 
kind of militia.*^ Both comisionados returned with 
the new governor in August. Vallejo, in proffering 
his resignation, had sent to the government a state- 
ment, with vouchers of the sums due him for his ex- 
penditures in supporting the frontier garrison for many 
years. He was soon informed, however, by Virmond, 
his agent, that there was no probability of having his 
claim allowed, much less paid. Spence and others 
with valid claims fared in like manner.^^ 

I have said that the comisionados arrived too late 
in Mexico; that is, Castanares did so, for Prudon's 
object had already been accomplished. In accordance 
with Vallejo's recommendations of 1840-1,'* the Mex- 

ViilUjo, Doc, MS., xi. 29. Jan. 19th, Castro to V. , with assurance of con- 
tinued friendship. 'Our only foes are the foreigners, and of them I am not 
afraid if the Califomians keep united.' Id., xi. 34. 

" Cooper's Log of the 'California,' MS. The arrival of Castanares, Rivera, 
and Prudon was announced in Mexico in the Diario del Oohierno of March 2d ; 
Bttxtamanle, Diario Mex., MS., xliv. 81. 

"Prudon's commissions, dated May 4th, in Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 215-16. 
Vallejo'a commission of May 2d. Id., i. IG. Castanares' appointment men- 
tioned by Virmond April IGth. Id., xi. 209. Alvarado's commission of May 
2d. Id., xxxiii. 277; Dept. St. Pap., Mont., MS., vi. 47. 

'^Vallejo, Doc, MS., i. 351; xi. 209; Id., Hist. Cal, MS., iv. 274-7. 

'* Vallejo had also sent Capt. Castaucda to Mexico at the end of 1839 — 
chap. XX. of vol. iii. — but what influence he had, if any, is not known. 


ican government had decided to accept his resignation, 
to unite the civil and military commands in the person 
of a Mexican officer, and to send troops to California. 
The choice of an officer fell upon Manuel Michelto- 
rena, brigadier and adjutant-general in the Mexican 
army. He is said to have been of a distinguished 
family, and to have rendered good service in Texas and 
elsewhere; but I know nothing definite of his career 
down to July 1840, when, being then a colonel and 
acting as chief of staff, he helped to put down a revolt 
in the city of Mexico^^ — a service, doubtless, which 
gave him his promotion. He also defended Jos6 
Castro before a court-martial, and thus became known 
to Californians. His appointment as governor, com- 
andante general, and inspector of California was dated 
January 22, 1842; his instructions bore date of Feb- 
ruary 11th; and the announcement was made to Cal- 
ifornian authorities the 22d of February.^® 

Micheltorena's salary was fixed at $4,000. In his 
instructions were expressed in the usual flattering 
terms unlimited confidence in his ability and patriot- 
ism, and also tlie nation's profound interest in all that 
affected the welfare of so promising a department as 
California. Because that country was so far away, 
however, and in view of the difficulties likely to arise 

Nothing is heard of him from April 1S40 until April 1841, when he was a pas- 
senger from Acapulco on the California, and got left at Mazatlan. Cooper's 
Log, MS. 

'^Valencia's report of Aug. 8th, in Diario del Gobiemo, Aug. 11, 1840; 
Vallejo, Doc. Hist. Mex., MS., ii. 88. 

'^ Jan. 24, 1342, Gen. Valencia, chief of staff, to Micheltorena, announc- 
ing his appointment on Jan. 22d. Original doc. in Sarar;c, Doc, MS., iii. 
2-3. Jan. 2r>th, Santa Anna and miu. of rel. to Micheltorena and to gov. of 
Cal. Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., i. 7; Id., Anrj., xii. C7-8. Feb. 22d, min. of 
war to Vallejo, announcing the appointment, and acceptance of Vallejo's 
resignation, with thanks for his services. Savarje, Doc., MS., iii. 6. Publica- 
tion of these orders in Cal. in September. V'allejo, Doc, MS., xi. 255-7. 
In the original documents cited it is to be noted that Micheltorena was made 
governor, etc., of Alta California only; but in his instructions it is stated that 
his authority is to extend also over Baja California; and later he signed him- 
self 'General de Brigada del Ej^rcito Mejicano; Ayudante General de la 
Plana Mayor del mismo; Gobei-nador, Comandante General, 6 Inspector del 
Departamento de las Calif ornias. ' S. Dier/o, Arch., MS., 300; Arch., StaBdr- 
bara, MS., vi. 141; Pico, Doc, MS., ii. 15, etc. The military jurisdiction 
of the peninsula had previously belonged to Sinaloa. 


from its supposed demoralized condition, the new gov- 
ernor was invested with some extraordinary powers, 
being authorized to remove and appoint both civil and 
military employes without awaiting approval from 
Mexico. He was to inspect and reorganize the pre- 
sidial companies; to study and report upon the situa- 
tion in respect of missions, custom-house, and treas- 
ury; to encourage by all means within his power 
internal improvements, colonization, the civilization 
of Indians, and education of youth; to regulate the 
mails and administration of justice; to favor the de- 
velopment of art; and to protect agriculture, com- 
merce, and all the country's industries.^'' 

Of the raising of troops to accompany Micheltorena, 
for the support of which $8,000 per month was ordered 
to be paid at Mazatlan in addition to the Californian 
revenues,^^ less is known than would be desirable. At 
first it was reported that a large force, perhaps 1,000 
or 1,500 men, would be sent;^^ but 500 seems to have 
been about the number finally decided on, 300 of whom 
were to be convicts, and 200 regular soldiers. In Feb- 
ruary a decree was issued through the minister of jus- 
tice ordering the selection of 300 criminals from Mex- 
ican prisons for tliis purpose. Those having trades 
were to be preferred, and when they had arrived at 
their destination, they miglit be released from part or 
all of their term of convict life in consideration of good 
conduct on the journey, or of "services which they 
might render," for which also their families would be 
aided to join them, and they would receive lands and 
implements to become colonists.^" There is no indi- 

" Micheltorena, Instrucciones que recihid del Supremo Oobierno al tomar el 
mandodeCali/ornias, 1S43, MS.; also in Vallejo, Hist. Col., MS., iv. 26S-72; 
Hayes' Mhxion Book, i. 35S; Id., Scraps, Legal Hist. S. Diego, i. no. 57, p. 
31-4; Whei-ler's Land Titles, 117-18. Micheltorena is authorized to call upon 
the com. gen. of Sonora and Sioaloa for aid, but apparently only for Baja 

^^Dcpt. St. Pap., Ben., MS., i. 89-90. 

'^^ Bustamante, Uiario Ifex., MS., xliv. 158-9; Id., Hist. Sta Anna, MS., 
ii. S. 

™ Dwinelle, Address before CaZ. Pioneers, ISGG, p. 20-1, quotes the decree 
under date of Feb. 22d, from the Observador Judicial y de Legislacion, i. 372; 


cation in the order that the convicts were to become 
soldiers; indeed, criminals could not be legally en- 
listed; but doubtless the 'service' referred to, for which 
they were to be pardoned, consisted mainly of an en- 
gagement to enlist as soon as a pardon had freed them 
from all taint of criminality! At any rate, they were 
soldiers when they landed in California. 

There is no record of the number of convicts ob- 
tained ; but I think it could not have been over half 
that required — or if all, that at least half managed 
to desert before sailing. With this nucleus of an 
army Micheltorena left Mexico on May 5th, and ar- 
rived at Guadalajara the 22d, the quickest march 
on record by that route, having found no reason to 
complain of the "chiefs and officers to whose valient 
swords the president confided the integrity and de- 
fence of the national territory in both Californias."-^ 
It would seem that General Paredes, commanding in 
Jalisco, had orders to furnish two hundred regular 
soldiers, and he took advantage of the opportunity to 
get I'id of all the useless and unmanageable men in 
his army, filling up the number with a forced levy 
of recruits from the farms near Guadalajara.^^ These 

and Mexico, Coleccion de Decrefos y Ordenes de Interes Comun. Mex., 1850. 
352 p. Mofras, Explor., i. 311-12, cites it from the Diario dd Gobiemo, Feb. 
21, 1842; and Alvarado, Hist. Cal., MS., iv. 243, from a document in the 
archives — which has eluded my search — dated Feb. 21st. Feb. 1st, a decree 
of Santa Anna provided for a squadron of active militia to be called the ' fijo 
deCalifornias.' D uhlan and Lo~ano, Leg. Mex., iv. 106-7. 

" May 23, 1842, Micheltorena to min. of war, in Siglo, xix., June 10, 1842; 
Bustamante, Diario Mex., xlv. 59. He had a train of over 100 pack-animals 
laden with munitions and implements. 

^^ 'Al formarse esta espedicion se me dieron cuantos criminales y facinerosog 
quiso castigar el Sr General Paredes, completando los pocos que le faltaron 
al numero con una leva en las campinas de Guadalajara, que arrebato y para 
siempre de sus hogares sin calificaciones ni oir escepcion alguna & padres de 
familia con ocho 6 diez hijos.' Micheltorena's report of Jan. 23d to min . of 
war, in Castanares, Col. Doc, 58. According to Mexico, Mem. Ouerra, 1844, 
p. 4S-9, the squadron was made up of 'reemplazos que con gran puntualidad 
prepar6 el comaudante general de Jalisco.' Chiefly criminals without mili- 
tary discipline. Mexico, Mem. Eel., 1845, p. 2.5-6. Serrano, Apuntes, MS., 
74-6, says the corps at first destined for CaUfomiawas the 'Tres de Allende,' 
one of the best in the service. He, Amador, Memonas, MS., 148-51, and 
others imply that the convicts also were obtained in Jalisco. Botello, Anales, 
MS., 95-7, tell us that one of the men seized in the fields afterwards became 
his servant, and told him all the detaUs. 


two bodies of men constituted what was called the 
Batallon Fijo de Califomias, which was marched to 
the coast and embarked. Many succeeded in escaping 
on the road and at San Bias and Mazatlan, at which 
port Micheltorena touched in what appears to have 
been a vain search for funds. It is related that at 
one of the ports the cholos were kept on an island, 
and that besides those who escaped many were 
drowned in the attempt. I suppose there were about 
three hundred who finally sailed from Mazatlan, 
though there is no accurate record of the number ex- 
tant; and there were forty or fifty of the deserters 
who were arrested and sent to California two years 

The new governor and his batallon fijo embarked 
at Mazatlan on or about July 25th, in four vessels.'* 

^ Coronel, Cofias de, Cal., MS. , 3S-9, says there were a few over 300 who 
arrived at S. Diego. Murcelino Garci'a was one of the deserters from the 
island, and in his Apunte sobre Micheltorena, JIS., gives some details about 
the adventures of himself and companions. Robinson, Life in Cal., 205-7, 
calls the number 330. The alcalde of S. Diego in announcing the arrival of 
the first vessel at S. Diego said that 400 men were coming. Micheltorena' s Ad- 
minintration, 1; S. Dief;o,Arch., MS., 289. Mofras, Emptor., i. 311-12, gives 
the number as 430. Serrano, Apimtes, MS., 7S-9, makes it 500. Some Califor- 
nians speak of 600 and SOOmen. In his letter of 1844, Castaiiaret, Col. Doc, 
58, Micheltorena speaks only of his force of 200 men. 200 was the number 
finally sent away from Cal. Dept. St. Pap., MS., vi. 20-1. A roster in Id., 
V. 70-4, makes the force of the bataUon at the end of 1S43 about 250 men. 
According to this record there were five companies, including one of grana- 
deros and one of cazadores. I append the foUowiug list of officers, a few 
names being supplied from other sources: Colonel, Rafael Tcllez. Adjutants, 
Mariano Garfias, Juan Lambaren (died in 1S44); comandante, Juan Abella. 
Captains, Francisco D. Noriega, Jost; M'^ Mcjui, Dionisio Gonzalez, Jos<S M» 
Flores, Jose M" Segiira. Lieutenants, Francisco Egiiren, Macedonio Padilla, 
Emigdio Abrego, Mariano Villa, Ignaaio Aguado, Ignacio Plaza, Mai-quez, 
Luis G. Maciel, Autonio Somoza, Pedro Garcia. Sub-lieu tenants, Joaquin 
Avila y, Ignacio Servin, Feliciano Vivaldo, Rafael Sanchez, Guada- 
lupe Medina, Josii M' Limon, Leon Ruiz, Manuel Garfias, Juan N. Bravo, 
Manuel Bravo, Juan Gutierrej!, Jos6 Correa, Guillermo Coronel. Sergeants, 
Severe Aguirre; rest vacant. Buglers, Jos6 M' Perez, Quirino Vergara, 
Luciano Sandoval, Jesus Flores, Mariano Mercado, Juan Jos(5 Lopez. Di- 
rector de hospitales, Faustino JJoro; pi to, Laurcano Guzman; 20 corix)rals. 
Total, 60; privates, 180. Total force in 1844, 237 men. Id., Ben. Com. and 
Treas., v. 3-5. 

^'The only record I have found of the date is in Rivera, Hint. Jalapa, iii. 
539. Perhaps all the vessels did not sail the same day. The names of three 
vessels only are given ; that of the Chaio, mentioned incidentally by Robinson, 
Life in Cat., 205-7; the RepubUcano, mentioned in some of Michel torena's 
later correspondence; and the sehr Culiforuiri, Capt. Cooper, which brought 
32 men under Lieut Jose M. Sarmiento, who died on the voyage. Cuoper'a 
Hist. Cal., Vol. IV. 19 


One of the fleet with Mieheltorena on board — and also 
two old acquaintances of the reader, Colonel A. V. 
Zamorano and Captain Nicanor Estrada, the former 
in a dying condition^' — arrived at San Diego on Au- 
gust 25th, after a tedious trip of thirty-one days. 
The other vessels arrived within ten clays ;^^ and 
Mieheltorena spent several weeks in organizing and 
drilling his convict recruits. It was no easy task, 
though many of the men had done military service at 
some period of their lives. It was long before any 
considerable portion could be trusted with weapons; 
but from the first the batallon showed marked pro- 
ficiency in foraging for supplies by night. Moreover, 
on overhauling the munitions it was found that the 
bullets as a rule would not fit the muskets, and had to 
be remelted. Financial obstacles were also encoun- 
tered from the start, making it diflScult to support the 
troops sent to protect the country. At last, late in 
September, Mieheltorena started with his men north- 
ward and came to Los Angeles, where he was re- 
ceived with popular demonstrations of enthusiasm, the 
national Jiesta o{ September 16th being postponed in 
his honor.-' After enjoying the hospitality of the 

Lprj; Larkin's Doc, i. ,330. Otlier vessels on the coast in the autumn, and 
■which probably included the other transport, -n-ero the Primavera, jdven 
Fanita, Palatina, and Guipuzcoana. 

-^Several died on the Toyage. Osio, Hist. Cal., JMS., 420-2, says Zamo- 
rano'a illness and the death of the others were due to sufferings on the Ion-; 
voy.age, the masters of the vessels having chartered them by the day, and 
making the trip as long as the -water coul.l bo made to last! Robinson, who 
■was at S. Diego at the time, describes the 90 soldiers and their families ■ivho 
came on the Chato as having landed in a state of gi'cat misery. 

^^ Aug. 25th, Gdngora, jucz de paz at S. Diego, to prefect at Angeles, an- 
nouncing arrival. Aug. 29th, prefect's reply, with orders for great attentions 
to be shown to the ne-w gov. S. Dieijo, Arch., MS., 289; Mkhdtorenn's Ad- 
minhtration in Upper Cal., ISJfiS, p. 1-2. Tliis is an 8vo pampbletof 28 p., 
containing translations of 27 original documents from the archives. It has 
EO imprint, but -nas probably published as an appendi.\- to the proceedings in 
some land case. Robinson, Statement, MS., 26-7, arrived the same day on 
tlie Ahrt, -n-hich vessel fii-ed a salute to the new gov. Vallejo, Hist. Cal., 
MS., iv. 2S9, says the troops arrived, that is, the'last of them, Sept. 8th. 
Sept. .3d, Mieheltorena announces his arrival to V. Vallejo, Doc., MS., xi. 
2 JG. Aug. 28th, letter announcing arrival the day before, in Boston Adver- 
tiser, Dee. 10, 1842; A'iles' Rerj., Ixiii. 242. 

^'Sept. 9-15, 1842, several items about Micheltorena's expected arrival, 
preparations in the way of lod.jings and supplies, postponement of ./icsto, etc. 
Dejjl. St. Pap., Ang., MS., vii. 7-23. Sept. 25th, prefect orders the sending 


Angelinos for nearly a month, during which time he 
subjected his personal popularity to a severe test by 
reason of the necessity of feeding, and the impossibil- 
ity of controlling his thieving followers, the governor 
resumed his march toward the capital. He had got 
no farther than San Fernando when, in the night of 
October 24th, he was met with the startling news that 
an American fleet had anchored at Monterey, and had 
demanded the surrender of the town. This affair and 
what Micheltorena did in connection with it will be 
given in another chapter. The new ruler had proved 
himself a gentleman of kind heart and pleasing ad- 
dress, and he had met with a cordial reception from 
the people: but there were those who doubted already 
that he had the qualities by which California could be 
saved from all her troubles. ^^ 

It is not clear that the, old authorities knew anj'- 
thing definite of IMicheltorena's appointment before 
his arrival, though such may have been the case.'^ 

of 40 carts required by Miclieltorena. Los Angeles, Arch., MS., ii. 16L He 
seems to have delivered an oration at the fiesta, and for a week there was a 
succession of balls and other sports. The festivities are described at some 
length in C'oronel, Cosas de Cal., MS., 41-5; and mentioned by Botello, 
Anales, MS., 101-2. Pinto, Apunt, MS., 84-8, relates that 25 men of the 
batallon deserted and attempted to escape to Mexico by way of the Colorado, 
but were pursued and brought back by a force under the writer's command. 
See general mention of Micheltorena's appointment and arrival in Tut h ill's 
Hist. Cal., 147; Hartmann, Geog. Slat. Cal., i. 39; Ferry, Cal., 23; Beldeii's 
Hist., Statement, MS., 40; Ord, Ocurrencias, MS., 125. 

^ Oct. 22, 1 842, John C. Jones writes from Sta Barbara to Larkiii : ' From 
accounts, the general is a mild, affable, and well disposed man, but devoid of 
all energy, stability, force, or resolution; the very last man that should have 
been sent to guide the destinies of California. He appears fickle and very 
undecided in his movements; and, if report speaks true, not overstocked with 
the one indispensable requisite to make a good soldier.' Hopes tlic new troops 
may be swallowed up before they reach Sta Bilrbara. ' If the people had any 
grit they would rise en masse and drive the wretches out of the country. ' 
Micheltorena was to be given a 5350 ball on his arrival. ' Don't thiidi of the 
capital being fixed at Los Angeles, no such thing; the general quits the place 

ia disgust, and talks of Sta Barbara as the seat of government But no, don't 

bo alarmed. Treat his Excellency well at your place, and my word for it 
there will still be the capital. A little soap and a firm spine will, wit!iout 
much difficulty, bring him to a permanent halt in your good town of Mon- 
terey.' Larhin's Doc, MS., i. 344. 

'■" The Clarila arrived at S. Diego July 7th, with news that a general with 
500 men was coming, Dept. St. Pap., Aug., MS., vi. 128. April 10th, Vir- 
moud writes to Vallejo of Micheltorena's appointment, and of his financial 


On September 3d, however, from San Diego lie sent 
to both Alvarado and Vallejo the official orders of the 
government, providing for his accession to both com- 
mands ; and he took advantage of the occasion to ex- 
press the most kindly feelings toward both gentlemen, 
as well as his determination, and that of his men, to 
make California happy. Other despatches of similar 
purport were sent, and among the official papers sent 
to Vallejo was a lieutenant-colonel's commission.^" 
A^allejo of course promptly indicated his submission to 
his new superior, and issued corresponding orders to 
all subordinates. September 19th may be regarded 
as the date when he surrended his position as coman- 
dante general. In accordance with these orders, Jose 
Castro, to whom Mieheltorena also brought a com- 
mission as lieutenant-colonel, with Alferez Pinto and a 
guard, left the capital on the 27th for Los Angeles, 
to greet the general.^^ Subsequently, on October Gth, 
Vallejo was made comandante of the northern line, in- 
cluding the territory as far south as Santa Ines; and 
lie did not fail to notify his chief that the garrison of 
Sonoma had long been supported at his own private 
expense; that his resources could not bear this ex- 
pense forever ; that the northern frontier was exposed 
to continual dangers, and that the people did not care 
very much under whose dominion they were, so long 
as their families and property were protected. ^^ 

difficulties. Vallejo, Dor., MS., xi. 209. And Vallejo says, ffiit. Cat, MS., 
iv. 272-4, that he got the letter in May, but lost all hope of success when he 
learned that lack of money was already causing trouble. In Id., iv. 2S4-d, 
he says he heard of the appointment officially on Aug. 17th. 

^^Sept. 3, 1S42, M. to V. Savage, Doc, MS., iii. 9-11. No date (probably 
before Sept. 3d), Id. to Id., to same effect, and wants aid for his men. Id., 
iii. 7-8. 

"Sept. 19th, V. to M. and to his subordinates. Vallejo, Doc., MS., xi. 
235-58. Sept. 20th, V. to Abrego, ordering all possible pecuniary aid to 
be furnished to M. An officer to be despatched with aid, etc. Id., xi. 259- 

Sept. 27 tb, Cajit. Silva to V., announcing departure of Castro, Pinto, 
and four soldiers. /(/., xi. 280. Alvarado, Hist. Cal., MS., v. 15-16, tells us 
that M. was recognized at S. Diego by the comandante at Vallejo's orders; 
and he even exceeded his powers by recognizing him as governor. ' The 
Mexicans always worshiji the rising sun.' 

^-Oct. 6, 1842, M. to v., appointing him 'Gefe de linea militar desde So- 
noma hasta Sta lues. Dept. St. Pap., Een., MS., ii. 35-6. Private and Catter- 
Lig letter on same subject in Vallejo, Hist. Cat, MS., iv. 295-7. Oct. 15th, 


Governor Alvarado was of course bitterly disap- 
pointed at the coming of a successor; but he gave no 
sign pubUcly of his chagrin, and there is no evidence 
that he thought for a moment of resistance.^' Such 
resistance, as he well knew, must prove unsuccessful 
with Castro as well as Vallejo against him ; his only 
chance was to raise the standard of revolt and call 
upon the foreigners for support; but such a scheme 
had no attraction for him, and he had lost much of 
his popularity with that class of foreigners most likely 
to engage in revolt. To Alvarado as to Vallejo Mi- 
cheltorena wrote in friendly and flattering terms from 
San Diego, announcing his appointment and arrival, 
forwarding his credentials, and stating that he would 
soon march for Los Angeles on his way to the capital. 
He made no demand for an immediate transfer of the 
political command, thus impliedly authorizing Alva- 
rado to hold it until his arrival at Monterey.^* On 
September 24th Alvarado issued a proclamation in 
which he had the pardonable assurance to state that 
he had been relieved in accordance with his own re- 
quest. Of Micheltorena he says: "Fame has done 
justice to the merits of this chief, and the nobility of 

Nov. 6th, lOtli, V. toM., in Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 273, 290, 300, SOS. In one 
of his letters V. complains that M. addresses him as lieut-colonel, ignorir.g 
his rank as ' colonel of the country's defenders.' This rank had been given 
him Aug. G, 1839, and in 1840 President Bustamante had sent him as a gift a 
pair of colonel's epaulettes. Id., i. 14^15; ix. 150; x. 42. Nov. 15th, Capt. 
Silva declines to obey Alvarado's requisition for anns without orders from the 
comandante. Id. , xi. 288. Same date, Silva's report of military force available 
at Monterey — 13 artillerymen and 9 cavah-y. Id., xi. 289. Dec. 3d, Castro is 
authorized to communicate directly with M. to avoid delays. Id., Corresp., 
MS., 54. 

'^In his Hist. Cal, MS., v. 16-17, Alvarado says he was not sorry that 
M. had come, as he was anxious to get rid of the office before the crisis came; 
yet he understood clearly that the appointment was intend'ed as a humiliation 
to himself and to tlie Califomians. He says there had been an agreement be- 
tween Bustamante and Santa Anna that A. was to rule two years longer. Ho 
and Oslo, Hist. Cal., MS., 422, state that 51. feared that the governorship 
would not be peaceably surrendered. Mrs Ord, Ocnrrencias, JIS., 130, says 
that A. was for a time inclined to resist. The intimate friendship between 
Castro and M. donbtless had great influence in promoting his submission. 

'*Sept. 10th, M. to A. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 285; Id., Hist. Cal, 
MS., iv. 290-2. This writer says that A. was directly requested to act as 
governor: also that he was very bitter against his successor and did not answer 
his fiiendly letters. 


his sentiments is impressed on the communications he 
has sent to me. The ample powers with which he is 
invested, united with his good wishes, will tend, as I 
do not for a moment doubt, to promote the happiness 
of the department, removing the obstacles that have 
embarrassed me in its government. I congratulate 
jou on this happy selection, and I liope you will not 
disappoint the opinion that has done justice to your 
virtues. "^° 

The part taken by Alvarado, like that of Michel- 
torena, in the events of Monterey in October will be 
noticed elsewhere. These events delayed Michelto- 
rena's coming to the capital, and of course the formal 
transfer of the governorship. In December, how- 
ever, the new governor decided that the transfer 
should take place at Angeles, and Alvarado was noti- 
fied to that effect. Naturally the latter did not care 
to go in person to the south for such a purpose, to 
render the abajefios spectators of his humiliation; so 
he simply made Jimeno Casarin acting governor, as 
he had done often before on plea of illness; and 
Jimeno, announcing the appointment, proclaimed that 
"General Don Manuel Micheltorena having repre- 
sented the very potent reasons which make it im- 
possible for him to present himself at this point, and 
which have forced him to fix his residence at Los 
Angeles, I have resolved to go in person to said city 
to place his Excellency solemnly in possession of the 
government." The junta departamental was also or- 
dered to convene at Angeles on December 30th to be 
present at the ceremony.^" Jimeno was accompanied 
on his trip south by Francisco Arce, Josd Maria Cas- 
tafiares, Rafael Gonzalez, and Zenon Fernandez, 

'=Sept. 24th, A.'s proclamation. Bept. St. Pap., Anrjeles, MS., x. 30. 
English translation in Michdtorena's Administralion, 3. 

^" Deo. loth, M. to justice of peace at S. Diego, ordering him to sus- 
pend all acts of possession until he has received hia ofSce of gov., which 
■will be soon. From S. Bierjo, Arch., MS., 290, in Michdtorena's Admin., 7. 
Dec. 19th, A. puts Jimeno in charge. Dept. St. Pap., Aii^., MS., xi. 133; 
xii. GS-9. Deo. 20th, J. 's proclamations. Id., xii. 66-70; Micheltoreiia's 
Admin., 4-7; S. Dicrjo, Arch., MS., 290. 


some of whom were members of the junta or in 
some way represented such members.^' The cere- 
mony at Los Angeles took place at the house of 
Vicente Sanchez, where Micheltorena took "the oath 
of office at 4 p. m. on December 31st in the presence 
of the ayuntamiento, part of the junta, and of the 
most prominent citizens. Speeches were made by 
both Jimeno and Micheltorena; salutes were fired; 
and the city was illuminated for three evenings, or 
at least such was the order issued by the municipal 
authorities, in order that the people might "give ex- 
pression to the joy that should be felt by all patriots 
in acknowledging so worthy a ruler. "^^ On the first 
day of the new year the change was officially an- 
nounced by Jimeno and Prefect Argiiello, and on 
January Gth Governor Micheltorena published the 
announcement de estilo of his accession, with the 
usual promises of using his authority with zeal for 
the common welfare.^" 

Though some members of the junta departamental 
were j^resent to assist at the inauguration of the 
governor in December, the only session of that body 
in 1842 had been that of May 31st, when four vocales 
or suplentes met at Monterey to transact some busi- 
ness connected with the orgaaization of the tribunal 
de justicia.*" Meanwhile Alvarado, in an economical 
mood, had decreed a suspension of the members' pay, 

'' Gonzalez's diary, in Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxiv. 112; Orel, Ocurrencias, 
MS., 126; Valle, Lo Pasado, MS., 30-1; BoteUo, Anaks, MS., 101-2; Coro- 
nel, Cosas de Cat, MS., 42; Pinto, Jpunt., MS., 89; Serrano, Apuntes, MS., 

'*Dec. 30th, ayunt. convened. Dept. St. Pap., Anf/., MS., xiii. 66, 70. 
Dec. 31st, prefect's orders for ceremonies at 4 P. M. Los Angeles, Arch., JI3., 
ii. 308-9. At about midnight Jimeno wrote to Alvarado, ' Se ha conchiido cl 
dia, cl mes, el auo, y el gobierao de V; pnes acabo de haeer entrega del 
mando.' Alvarado, Hist. Cal, MS., v. 17. Vallejo, Hist. Cal.,MS,., iv. SH- 
IS, thinks A. should have insisted on M. coming to the capital. 

^' Jan. 1st, Jimeno to prefect, and the latter to the people. Jan. Gt'.i, 
!MicheItorena to various subordinate ofBcials, cliiefly justices of the peace. 
S. Diajo, Arch., MS., 292; Dept. St. Pap., Mont., MS., vi. 48; Sta Cri.z, 
Arch., MS., 89-90; Micheltorena' s Admin., 8-10. 

*" Leg. lii-c, MS., iv. 2-3. The members iu attendance were Jimeno, 
Gonzalez, Jos6 Castro, and Ramon Estrada. 


a measure which it is much to be feared did not in- 
crease the pubhc funds, as it does not clearly appear 
that the salaries had ever been paid at all.*^ 

The tribunal, or superior court, the ministros or 
judges of which had been appointed in 1840, seems 
to have been in session at Monterey from May, after 
much trouble in securing the attendance of the south- 
ern judges, Carrillo and Estudillo. These gentlemen, 
besides other excuses of illness and miscellaneous 
obstacles, declared that Los Angeles was in reality 
the capital, and as such the place where the court 
should meet.*' Juan Malarin presided; but Juan 
Bandini resigned his position as fiscal, or attorney; 
and the junta chose Manuel Castaiiares to fill his 
place, at the same time electing five substitute judges, 
in order to secure a quorum at subsequent sessions.** 
Nothing important came before the court in 1842-3, 
though it sent some instructions to subordinate judges 
on methods of procedure; investigated the condition 
of prisons at the capital ; and decided on appeal sev- 
eral minor criminal cases, sentencing one man to be 
shot for murder. 

Among the local items of 1842 one that merits 
brief mention here is the discovery of gold in the Los 
Angeles region, the first authenticated finding of that 

"N"oy. 25th, A. to sub-conusario. Dept. St. Pap., Bun., !MS., iii. 27-8. 
Nothing was to be paid to any civil employ^ except on the governor's direct 

'-March 12, 1841, Alvarado, in approving the death-.sentence of three 
murderers at Los Angeles, complains that the tribunal was not in session 
because two members had refused to obey the summons. S. Dieno, A rch. , 
MS., 280. April-May 1842 (or perhaps 1843; but it makes no difference, as 
there is nothing to be said of the court in 1843), corresp. between tlie gov., 
Malarin, Carrillo, and Estudillo. Carrillo suggests that 'Malarin would not 
be so eager to perform his duties were the tribunal at Angeles where it 
should be.' Dept. St. Pap., Prff. y Juzg., MS., iv. 37^1. Opening of the 
tribunal in May — it is not quite clear whether on May 1st, 19th, or 20th. 
Dept. Rec, MS., siii. 33. S. Josi, Arch., MS., ii. 18; Los A»gele.% Arch., 
MS., ii. 23.5-6, 2G9; Dept. St. Pap., Ang., MS., xii. 64; Id., lien. Com. and 
Treas., MS., iv. 71. June 5th, A. refers to the tribunal the murder eases of 
Tagget and Eichards (the former of whom was sentenced to death). Depit.Pec., 
MS., xiii. 22-3. Salaries: judges, §4,000; fiscal, $400 per mo.; secretaiy, §700 
per year; clerk, §40 per mo. Id., xiii. 3-4. 

*' Leg. liec, MS., iv. 2-3; Dej)t. Rec, MS., xii. 54. the minUtros su- 
pknten, chosen were Eugenio Montenegro, Joaquin Gomez, Tiburcio Tapia, 
Juan Anzai-, and Jos6 Maria Castauares. 


precious metal in California. The gold was found in 
placcres on the San Francisco rancho, formerly belong- 
ing to San Fernando Mission, but at the time the prop- 
erty of the Valle family. The discovery was made 
accidentally in March 1842. By May the gold re- 
gion had been found to extend over two leagues, and 
the dirt, with a scanty supply of water, was paying 
two dollars per day to each man engaged in mining." 
This new industry came to the knowledge of the au- 
thorities, and in May Ignacio del Valle was appointed 
encargado de justicia to preserve order in the min- 
ing district.*^ Mofras in his book reported that his 
countryman, Baric, was obtaining from this placer 
about an ounce of pure gold per day; and it was 
worked more or less continuousl}^, chiefly by Sono- 
rans, down to 1846.*^ It may be noted also that Juan 
Bandini 'denounced' a veta mineral of some kind near 
the Yucaipa rancho in 1841-2.*'^ 

** May 6, 184-2, Manuel Requena to Barron. Eequena, Doc, MS., 45. The 
date is often given in later newspaper accounts as IS3S or 1S41, but also cor- 
rectly in some. Abel Stearns sent some of the gold to Philadelphia by Al- 
fred Robinson before the end of 1S42; and the correspondence on that subject 
has been often published. See Los Angeles Hist., 20-1; S. F. Bulkiin, May 
29, 1868, etc. The original letters are in archives of the Cal. Pioneer 

*^ Virile, Doc, MS., 57; containing the original appointment by the pre- 
fect of Los Angeles. Further corresp. on the subject between gov. and prefect 
in May-July 1842. Los Angeh-s, Arch., MS., ii. 211, 256-8; Dept. Rcc, MS., 
xiii. 32, 35; Dept. St. Pap., Aiifj., MS., xii. 63-5. The placer seems to have 
been called San Feliciauo in 1846. Los Angeles, Arch., MS., v. 331. 

'Sjl/o/ras Explor., i. 489; Larkia to N. Y. Sun, June 30, 1846. Lar- 
X7V.9 jDoc. , MS. , iv. 18.3. I omit many references. 

"Los Angeles, Arch., MS., v. 117-19,478. 


co:mmodore jones at monterey. 


ExiJLisH, Fbench, and Americas Schemes — Jones' Insteiictions — The 
French Fleet — English Fleet— Rumors of War — Cession of Cali- 


Monterey— Camure of the 'Guipuzcoana' — Jones' Position and 
Motives — Occupation and Restoration of the Capital — Authori- 
ties IN Manuscript and Print — .Jones at San Francisco and Sonoma 
— Reports — Arrival of the ' Bale ' and ' Yorktown ' — In the South 
— Micheltokena's Valor — Mexican Bombast — Reports to Mexico — 
Claims for Damages— The 'Tasso' and 'Alert' — Jones at Los 
Angeles — Bocanegra and Thompson in Mexico —Webster and Al- 
monte IN Washington — In Congress — The Press — Jones Recalled. 

I HAVE represented the three great powers of the 
world as entertaining hopes of acquiring CaUfornia 
when it should be released from Mexican dominion, as 
all admitted it must be eventually.^ Subjects of France 
based their hopes on nothing more tangible than the 
idea that by affinities of religion, manners, and friend- 
ship, promoted by inherent dislike to Anglo-Saxon 
v.'ays, the Californians in their hour of trouble might 
seek a protectorate in a monarchy that Avas Latin and 
catholic. Englishmen had a large claim against Mexico 
for loans of money in past years; and negotiations had 
been long in progress for a cession of territory in 
California and elsewhere in payment of the debt, or 
as security for such payment. There is no evidence 
that the British government took any part in these 
negotiations, but rumors to that effect were current 

' See chap. x. of this vol. 


in the United States and France, and it was known 
that a strong influence was being brouglat to bear on 
that government. 

Americans talked also of purchase, and their gov- 
ernment had openly made propositions to Mexico; but 
their chief reliance was in the 'manifest destiny' of 
their nation to absorb all tei'ritory westward to the 
Pacific. There was a wide-spread popular feeling that 
California belonged by some sort of natural right to 
the republic. Men were not wanting to advocate its 
acquisition, right or wrong, by conquest if necessary; 
and even those Americans who combated such a pol- 
icy had little doubt respecting the ultimate result. 
At home and abroad it was admitted that time was a 
powerful ally of the United States; that California 
would surely bo her prize unless one of her rivals by 
prompt action or lucky accident should secure it. The 
national policy was therefore to wait, but at the same 
time to watch. War in support of the Monroe doc- 
trine was to be thought of, if at all, only as a last re- 
sort, the necessity for which must be avoided by every 
precaution to prevent England or France from gain- 
ing a foothold in the country. Such was the situa- 
tion in 1840-1; and it was in no material respect 
modified in 1842.^ 

^ Some cuiTent items on thisgeneral topic are as follows: A resolution intro- 
duced in the Texan congress to extend the limits of that country so as to in- 
clude Cal. Not acted on, though reports of its adoption had created some 
excitement. Washinrjton National Intdligencer, in Niks' Beg. , Ixii. S3. Hu- 
mor generally credited in Vera Cruz of a British loan of $7,000,000 on 
Cal. It ia to be hoped it is not true, as it would threaten peace. N. Orleans 
Bee, in Id., Ixii. 144. This same rumor published in a Mexican paper will 
be noticed again. General account of the negotiations for the cession of Cal. 
in payment of English claims, with an article from the N. York Courier, 
ridiculing the reports on the subject, and declaring that there was not a par- 
ticle of evidence that England bad any desire to get Cal. Id., Ixiii. 243, 337. 
In 1846, in commenting on r.n article in the North American which denied 
that the British capitalists had acquired any lien or mortgage on the country 
and maintained that Webster's proposition for purchase had been favorably 
entertains il l.y the Mexican minister and even approved by Lord Ashburton 
and thu Kaii of Abeideen, the Kalional Intelligeneer says: 'How far the par- 
ticulars of the statement may be accurate we cannot say; but that it was 
JMr Webster's purpose in 1S4'2, under the sanction of the then president, to 
obtain by peaceable cession from Mexico the port of S. F , and that this pur- 
pose was made Unown to lords Ashburton and Aberdeen, and met no opposi- 
tion in those q^uarters, we believe to be entirely true. We doubt, however. 


It should be borne in mind, however, that at this 
time diplomatic relations between Mexico and the 
United States, growing out of Texan complications 
which it seems unnecessary to describe here,^ had 
reached a critical point, and war was regarded as im- 
minent. The respective merits of the two republics 
that were parties to the quarrel have no special bear- 
ing on my present subject; but of course if Mexico 
was ever to consent to a cession, or the Californians 
were to decide in favor of independence and a protec- 
torate, the declaration of war would furnish a favora- 
ble opportunity for the coups by which England or 
France must if at all gain their points; and at such 
a time it behooved the government at Washington 
to be especially vigilant. 

Under these circumstances Commodore Thomas 
Ap Catesby Jones was sent out to take command of 
the Pacific squadron of five vessels mounting 116 guns. 
The English fleet in the Pacific consisted of four ves- 
sels, in every way superior, however, to the American 
craft, with 104 guns; and France had in the same 
waters eight vessels and 242 guns.* From his general 
instructions, dated December 10, 1841, 1 cite in a note 
certain portions, the only ones which can be made to 

whether any formal proposition -was laid before the committees of the two 
houses. The state of things in 1842 was not favorable to a united action of 
the different branches of the government on such a subject.' Id., Ixx. 257. 
Jlarsh, Letter to Jones, MS., 14-15, besides mentioning the H. B. Co.'s estab- 
lishment and quoting from Forbes, says; 'While the Americans in Cal. are 
looking forward with earnest expectation to the increase of our countrymen 
in this land, the Englisli here are equally confident that the whole country 
will soon become an appendage of the British empire.' Mofras' remarks, ap- 
plying as well to 1842 as to 1S41, have already been given; and likewise those 
of Sir Geo. Simpson. Henry A. Peirce, in his Letter to Cummins of Febraary, 
predicts that Cal. will be a second Texas, but he greatly exaggerates the im- 
migration of the preceding year. The same gentleman visiting Washington 
was questioned by Webster about Cal., and told him, ' In tbe fitness of things 
the U. S. must have that country.' 'Well, sir,' was the reply, 'if we must, 
we iirobably will!' Id., Rough Sketch, MS., 101-2. 

'See Hist. Ilex., vol. v.. this series. 

* On the names of the vessels with their qualities and condition, see Jones' 
reports of dififerent dates in U. S. Govt Doc, 27th cong. 3d sess., H. Ex. 
Doc, IGO, p. 105-12. The American fleet consisted of the frigate United 
S:ates, sloops Cycuie, Dale, and Yorktown, and schooner Shark, besides the 
Belief stove-shv^. 


bear even remotely on my present subject.^ Natu- 
rally there was no allusion in writing to the policy of 
tlie goverment respecting California; but it cannot 
plausibly be doubted that Jones started for the Pacific 
with a definite understanding of that policy, and 
with orders more or less explicit as to what he was 
to do in case of a war with Mexico or suspicious acts 
on the part of the English flcet.^ 

In May, Jones from Callao reported that in March, 
before his arrival, a French fleet with a large force 
had sailed from Valparaiso for a "destination altogether 
conjectural," which he feared might be the Californias. 
"Had I been on the station," he writes, "I might have 
considered it my duty to follow this expedition and to 
propound certain interrogatories to the French com- 
mander touching the object of so formidable an expe- 
dition fitted out with so much secrecy as to have 
eluded the observation even of Great Britain, her 
ever watchful rival. ' He calls for instructions, and 

^ ' The primary objects in maintaining a naval force in the Pacific have al- 
ways been and still are the protection of commerce and the improvement of 
discipline. . . .In the event, however, of any outrage on our flag, or interrup- 
tion of our commerce, or oppression of our citizens on shore, or detention of 
any of our seamen in the public vessels of any of the states bordering on your 
command, you will afford them every aid, protection, and security consistent 
with the law of nations,' etc. ' The unsettled state of the nations bordering 
on the coast included within your comniaud renders it, in the fii'st instance, 
necessary to protect the interests of the U. S. in that quarter' — therefore be 
vigilant and keep moving. 'Nothing but the necessity of prompt and effectual 
protection to the honor and interests of the U. S. will justify you in either 
provoking hostility or committing any act of hostility, and more especially 
in a state with which our country is at peace. . .The increasing commerce of 
the U. S. within the gulf and along the coast of Cal., as far as the bay of St 
Francisco, together with the weakness of the local authorities, and their iiTe- 
sponsibility to the distant govt of Mexico, renders it proper that occasional 
countenance and protection should be afforded to American enterprise in that 
quarter. You are therefore directed to employ cither a sloop of war or a 
smdler vessel, as may be most convenient, or both if necessary, in visiting 
occasionally or cruising constantly upon that line of coast. ' A. P. Upshur, 
sec. of the navy, to Com. Jones, Dec. 11, 1S41, in Jones at, Monterey, 
rjJ,3, p. 40-50. Such is the title by which I shall refer to the Messmin from 
the Presilent of the U. S,, in reply to the resolution of the H. Hejt. of Feb. ;,'(/, 
eclUngfor information in relation to the taking possession of Montcrt ;/ by Com. 
Thomas Ap C. Jones, Fib. 22, IS.'^, 27th cong. 3d sess., H. Ex. Doc., UIG. 

'^ TutLUI, IHst. Cal., 148-9, thus expresses it: 'Jones knew the piogrammc 
of the politicians, that Texas was to be annexed, that Mexico was to go "on 
tlie rampage," that the Americans were to discover unparalleled outrages on 
the part of Mexico, that finally war was to be proclaimed, and then Califorma 
would be fair game for the American squadron on the Pacific' 


announces that "it is not impossible but tliat, as one 
step follows another, it may be necessary for me to 
interpose by the assertion of our national commercial 
rights in case they are infringed by any power within 
the limits of my command."'' 

At the beginning of September, when Jones had 
returned to Callao from a cruise, and before he had 
received any communications from Washington, other 
suspicious occurrences seemed to him to require prompt 
action. On September 3d, Rear-admiral Thomas 
sailed suddenly with three English men-of-war, under 
orders just received from England. At the 
time a letter was received from John Parrott, 
U. S. consul at Mazatlan, dated June 22d, in which 
he announced the imminence of war with Mexico, and 
with which he sent a copy of El CosmopoUta of June 
4th, containing late correspondence between repre- 
sentatives of the two governments on the Texan 
question. This correspondence included several very 
violent and belligerent declarations of Bocanegra, Mex- 
ican minister of relations, addressed to Webster and 
to members of the diplomatic corps.^ Also at the 
same time, and perhaps from the same source, there 
came a Boston paper containing an item from the N. 
O. Advertiser of April 19th, asserting that Mexico 
had ceded the Californias to Eiigland for $7,000,000. 
After a consultation with the U. S. charge d'affaires 
at Lima, Jones put to sea on September 7th with the 
United States, Cijane, and Dale. Next day he sub- 
mitted the situation to his three commanders, and 
asked their advice, expressing his opinion that Mexico 

'May 21, 1842, Jones to sec. navy, in Jones at 3Ionterey, p. 66-7. The 
French fleet was really bound to the Marquesas to take possession. 

»May 12, 1S42, Bocanegra to Webster; May 31st, Id. to Id.; May 31st, 
Id. to dipl. corps. Tliese doc. with other corresp. of the period may be found 
in U. 8. Govt Doc, 27th Cong. 2d Sess., H. Doc, no. 266, 42 p.; President's 
Message on Belations with Mexico. Webster says of Bocanegra 's letter: 'The 
letter itself is highly exceptionable and offensi ve . . . The president considers 
the language and tone of the latter derogatory to the character of the U. S. 
and highly offensive, as it imputes to their govt a direct breach of faith,' and 
goes on to say that the U. S. will not modify its conduct, and if Mexico wants 
war, let her take the responsibility. 


and the United States were probably at war, and that 
Admiral Thomas had left Callao for the purpose of 
occupying California. Captains Armstrong, Strib- 
ling, and Dornin approved the commodore's opinion, 
which had also been that of Parrott at IMazatlan and 
Pickett at Lima; and they advised that while the 
Dale should be sent to Panamd with despatches and 
to get the latest news, the other two ships should pro- 
ceed with all haste to the coast of California. They 
went further, and decided that in case the two coun- 
tries were really at war it was their 'bounden duty' 
to seize and hold every point and port; while in an}^ 
case, in accordance with the Monroe doctrine, the 
military occupation of California by any European 
power, "but more particularly by our great commer- 
cial rival England," would be an act so decidedly hostile 
"as not only to warrant but to make it our duty to 
forestall the design of Admiral Thomas if possible by 
supplanting the Mexican flag with that of the United 
States at Monterey, San Francisco, and any other 
tenable points within the territory said to have been 
recently ceded by secret treaty to Great Britain"! 
Accordingly, the vessels parted company on the 13th, 
the United States and Cyane making all sail for Cali- 
fornia, while the Dale went to Panamd, with a report 
for Washington, and with orders to come to Mon- 
terey later." 

' The following are the documents from which this narrative has been 
made. June 22, 1S42, Parrott to Jones, with news from Mazatlan. Junes at 
Monterey, 1S43, p. 86-7. Sept. Sth, J. to his com., submitting the facts and 
asking advice. Also decision of the com. Id., 84-G. Sept. Sth, J. to com. 
Dornin of the Dale. Orders to sail to Panamd and to land there Lieut Wm 
Green with despatches for ^Pebster from the chargcj at Lima, etc. On ap- 
proaching Panamd he was to take every precaution against capture if war had 
been declared with Mexico or England, and he was especially charged to get 
information about the whereabouts and intentions of Thomas. Id., 73-4. 
Sept. 10th, letter from some one on the U. S., published in the Wccuhiiirjtoii 
Nat. Intelligencer, and purport given in A'ifes' Heg., Ixiii. 337. Sept. 13th, J. 
to sec. navy, giving a concise statement of the situation. He concludes: 'The 
Creole aflfaii-, the question of the right of search, the mission of Lord Ashbur- 
ton, the sailing of a strong squadron from France under sealed orders, . . .new 
difficulties between the U. S. and Mexico, the well founded rumor of a cession 
of the Califomias, and lastly the secret movements of the English naval force 
in this quarter, . . . have all occurred since the date of your last orders. Con- 


The action of Jones was thus far amply justified by 
the existing critical circumstances. There was no 
clutching at straws of weak pretence for a movement 
against California; he had sufficient reasons for his 
fears that the interests of his country were endan- 
gered; and he might justly have been blamed had his 
action been less prompt. In expressing approval, 
however, of Jones' policy and acts, it is by no means 
necessary to approve or even discuss the position 
taken by the council of officers in defence of the Mon- 
roe doctrine, and the right to forestall the English by 
seizing California, even if there was no war with 
Mexico. For what had been done other motives 
were more than sufficient; in what followed, as we 
shall see, this motive had but little influence. In case 
of war, and pending a final settlement, there can bo no 
question that the American commodore had a perfect 
right to forestall the English admiral in seizing and 
holding any Mexican territory. 

On the 18th of October the two men-of-war were 
close to the coast of California, without having touched 
at any port since leaving Callao, or seen any sail since 
crossing the equator. An order was issued to the 
men, forbidding under severe penalties all plunder, 
insult, or excesses on shore in the stirring scenes that 
might soon be expected. " During the battle and 

sequently I am without instructions, or the slightest intimation of your views 
and wishes upon what I consider a vital question to the U. S.-^the occupa- 
tion of Cal. by Great Britain under a secret treaty with Mexico. In this 
dilemma, all that I can promise is a faithful and zealous application of iiiy 
best abilities to promote and sustain the honor and welfare of my country.' 
Sept. 23d, letter from some one on the Dale at PanamA to the jV^. Y. Ecen- 
hig Post, in Mies' L'eg., Ixiii. 243, and Lancey's Cruise of the Dale, 31, giving 
a resume of movements and supposed plans. There are some later reports of 
Jones to be noticed in their place, which go briefly over the same ground, but 
add nothing to what has been given. Dr R. T. Maxwell, Moiiterey in IS4J, 
MS., 5-6, who was assistant surgeon on the U. S., and S. S. Culverwell, in 
Davis' Glimpses, MS., 93-4, who was powder-boy on the same vessel, both 
now residing in S. Francisco, give some details and rumors connected -n-ith the 
setting-out from Callao, as well as a narrative of later occurrences. Jay, 
Mexican War, S3-5, is disposed to ridicule and condemn Jones' action, and 
gives the matter a political aspect, by noting that Jones, the three officers of 
tlie councU, and the secretary of the navy, were all from the slave states. 


strife every man must do his utmost to take and 
destroy, but when the flag is struck all hostility must 
cease, and you must even become the protectors of all 
and not the oppressors of any."^° Rounding Point 
Pinos at dawn next morning, Jones soon saw that at 
least Thomas had not reached Monterey before him. 
He raised English colors, and at noon boarded a 
Mexican vessel coming out of the harbor, the master 
of which professed not to have heard of any hostilities 
between Mexico and the United States." Approach- 
ing the town with the captured vessel, the two men- 
of-war under the stars and stripes anchored at 2:45 
p. M. as close to the castillo as the depth of the water 
would permit. After what seemed a long delay, two 
Californian officers approached in a boat, but seemed 
so nervous and reserved as to excite suspicion, though 
they declared that no news had been received of war. 
An officer of the American ship Fama, lying at anchor 
in the harbor, being summoned, stated that reports of 
war were current at Honolulu, and that here he had 
heard the report that England was to take possession 
of the country. Moreover, a general stir was notice- 
able on shore, with signs of preparation for defence; 
and it was deemed a suspicious circumstance that no 
Americans came on board from the town. 

"The time for action had now arrived," says the 
commodore, and I cannot do better than to use his 
own words; "whilst nothing had occurred to shake my 
belief in the certainty of hostilities with Mexico, the 
reiterated rumored cession of California to England 

'" Oct. 18th, Jones to his men. General order, in JoTies at Monterey, 1S42, 
p. 41-2, 78-9. 

" C'apt. Snook was the master, and the vessel was the Jdven Gfuipuzcoana. 
I have original ctatements from three persons who were on the Guipuxcoana at 
the time. Jos^ Amaz, Eeciierclo.':, MS., 52-5, was supercargo. Jos6 llaria 
Estudillo, Dalos, MS., 42-5, a boy at the time, was a passenger with liis 
cousin. Dona Maria de Jesus Estudillo, whose story is told in Davis' Glimjises, 
MS., 98, etc., the young lady having married Davis later. Mrs Snook 
was also on board. The narratives mentioned, especially that of Miss Estu- 
dillo, contain many interesting details of their brief captivity, which, how- 
ever, have no special historical importance. The ladies were set ashore next 
morning. Davis says that Snook succeeded during the night in secretly 
landing the most valuable iiart of his cargo before an inventory was taken. 
Hist. Cm.., Vol. IV. 20 


was strengthened by what I have already related. 
Hence no time was to be lost, as another day might bring 
Admiral Thomas with a superior force to take posses- 
sion in the name of his sovereign; General Michelto- 
rena, or the new governor-general of California, might 
appear to defend his capital, within less than three 
days' march of which he was then said to be. If I 
took possession of the country and held it by right of 
conquest in war, and there was war with Mexico, all 
would be right; then if the English should come and 
claim under a treaty of cession, as such treaties do not 
give title till possession is had, I should have estab- 
lished a legal claim for my country to the conquered 
territory, and at least have placed her on strong grounds 
for forcible retention or amicable negotiations, as after 
circumstances might dictate. If Admiral Thomas 
should afterwards arrive and attempt to supplant our 
flag on shore, the marines of the squadron to man the 
guns of the fort without weakening our ships would 
insure us the victory, and the responsibility would rest 
on the English commander. On the other hand, if it 
should turn out that amicable relations had been re- 
stored between the United States and Mexico, that 
Mexico had not parted with the Californias, and that 
at the time I demanded and took possession of Mon- 
terey there was no war, the responsibility of the act 
at first might seem to rest on me, certainly not on our 
government, who gave no orders upon the subject. 
But if I am right (of which there can be little doubt) 
in assigning to Mexico the attitude of a nation having 
declared coaditional war, then, under all the circum- 
stances of the case, Mexico is the aggressor, and as 
such is responsible for all evils and consequences re- 
sulting from the hostile and menacing position in 
which she placed herself on the fourth of June last. 
But I may be wrong, toto ccclo, in all my deductions 
and conclusions. If so, I may forfeit my commission 
and all that I have acquired in seven and thirty years' 
devotion to my country's service. Terrible as such a 


consequence would be to me and my family, it was not 
sufficient to deter me from doing what I believed to 
be my duty, when a concatenation of unforeseen and 
unforeseeable events required prompt and energetic 
action for the honor and interests of my country."" 

At 4 p. M. on the 19th of October, Captain James 
Armstrong was sent ashore under a flag of truce to de- 
mand a surrender of the post to the United States, " to 
avoid the sacrifice of human life and the horrors of 
war " that would be the immediate result of non-com- 
pliance. The demand, addressed to the governor and 
military and civil commandant of Montere_y, was pre- 
sented to Alvarado, who was given until 9 o'clock the 
next day to consider the proposition, though he said 
that he did not hold the positions named in the ad- 
dress.-'^ At 6 p. M. Alvarado went through the for- 
mality of demanding from the comandante, Captain 
Mariano Silva, what were the existing means of de- 
fence ; and was informed an hour later that the fortifi- 
cations " were of noconsequence,as everybodyknows."^* 
Then a consultation of officials and leading citizens was 
held at the governor's house, where it was of course 
decided that resistance was impossible; and just be- 
fore midnight a commission, consisting of Captain 
Pedro Narvaez representing the military authority, 
and Jose Abrego the civil, was sent on board to ar- 
range the terms of surrender. ^^ Thomas O. Larkin 
served as interpreter. After two hours of discussion, 

'^ Jones to sec. na\'y, Oct. 2-lth, in Jones at Monterey, 69-73, contamiiig a 
full narrative of events from Sept. 13th to date. 

''Oct. 19th, Jones to Alvarado, demanding surrender, and enclosing arti- 
cles of capitulation. In Jone3 at Monterey, 1S42, p. 22-3, 74-5, Nilrs' /?';/., 
Ixiii. 337. Jones signs himself ' Commander in-chief of the U. S. naval forces 
on the Pacific station, and of the naval and militaiy e,\peditiou for the occu- 
pation of Old and New California, 'etc. Jones states (see note 12) that Alva- 
rado 'unhesitatingly consented to surrender. . .without asking a single ques- 
tion, or even inquiring why we appeared in hostile array, ' etc. ; but this seems 
to me unlikely. 

'^Oct. 19th, A. to S., and reply. Jones at Monterey, 1S42, p. 21. The force 
reported was 29 soldiers, 25 militia, with 11 caimon nearly all useless and 
lacking ammunition, and 150 muskets. 

'^ Oct. 19th, Alvarado to Jones, announcing that, as he has before stated, 
he had no military authority, hence the commission. Jonei at Monterey, 1S42, 
p. 23, 76. 


the terms were settled, to be signed at 9 a. m. ; and be- 
fore the commissioners returned, Alvarado despatched 
a letter to Micheltorena, stating the situation, enclos- 
ing past correspondence, and declaring that "without 
doubt Monterey will be to-morrow occu2Died by the 
enemy."^* At or before the hour appointed, the arti- 
cles of capitulation were signed by Armstrong, Abre- 
go, and Narvaez, subsequently receiving the approval 
of Jones, Alvarado, and Silva. The territory sui'- 
rendered was the district of Monterey extending from 
San Luis Obispo to San Juan Bautista; and it was 
specified that Alvarado signed the articles "from mo- 
tives of humanity; the small force at his disposal af- 
fording no hope of successful resistance against the 
powerful force brought against him."" 

At 11a. m. on the 20th, Jones sent ashore 150 
men, marines and sailors, under Commander Strib- 
ling.^'' The garrison marched out of the fort "with 
music, and colors flying," and gave up their arms at 
the government house. The American force took 
possession of the abandoned Castillo, over which the 
stars and stripes were raised in place of the Mexican 
flag that had just been lowered, and a few minutes 
after noon a salute was fired on the frigate and sloop, 

"Oct. 19th (20th), 2 A. M., A. to M. Jones at Mimterey, IS4S, p. 20-1. 
He notes the capture of the Guipuzcoaiia, and says that probably the Clarita, 

Ti-biidad, and California will share her fate. Francisco Soto was the messen- 
ger sent south by Alvarado, and in 1S44 had not yet received the SOO due him 
for the service. Dept. St. Pap., Mont. Cust.-H., MS., v. (482). Capt. Mcjia 
of the liatallou is also said by many to have arrived just at this tinie, and to 
have turned back at once with the news. 

''Articles of capitulation, etc., in Jones at Monterey, 1S4~, p. 30-1, 77-S. 
Substantially the same as those fii-st proposed by Jones. Td. , 22-3. They bear 
the date of Oct 19th, though it should be Oct. 20th. The garrison and all 
regular jSIexican troops were to become prisoners of war, and with aU civil 
officers were to be sent to a Mexican port, at the expense of the U. S., under 
parole not to take up arms until exchanged; but militia were simply to give 
up their arms, and were to forfeit no personal privilege or right of property 
so long as they should take no part against the U. S. All public property was 
to be given up under inventory. Security of persons, of private property on 
shore, and religious rights was guaranteed to the Califomians; and debts of 
the govt of Mexico to the inhabitants were assumed by the U. S., provided no 
hostilities were committed, etc. 

"Capt. Armstrong; lieutenants, Robbins, Lardner, Duluny, Avery, and 
Shattuck; Prof. Lockwood acting as adjutant; Purser Gibson, and Dr Max- 
well were also of tlio party. Jones at Monterej, IS4J, p. 72. 


the guns of the fort repl^'ing. Alvaraclo had retired 
to his rancho of Ahsal and was not present at the 
lowering of liis country's flag. No one was even tem- 
porarily deprived of his liberty, and a proclamation 
was issued in Spanish and English with a view to 
teach the people how great a blessing had been vouch- 
safed to them in the change of flag.^^ 

" 'Although I come in arms as the representative of a powerful nation, 
upon whom the central government of Mexico has waged war, I come not 
to sijread desolation among California's peaceful inhabitants. It is against tho 
armed enemies of my country, banded and arrayed under the flag of Mexico, 
that war and its dread consequences will be enforced. Inhabitants of Califor- 
nia ! You have only to remain at your homes in pursuit of peaceful vocations 
to insure security of life, person, and property from tlie consequences of an 
unjust war, into which Mexico has plunged you. Those stars and stripes, in- 
fallible emblems of civil liberty, etc., now float triumphantly before you, and 
henceforth and forever will give protection and security to you, to your 
children, and to unborn countless thousands. All the rights and privileges 
which you now enjoy, together with the privilege of clioosing your own 
magistrates and other officers for the administration of justice among your- 
selves, will be secured to all who remain peaceably at their homes and offer 
no resistance to the forces of the U. S. Such of the inhabitants of Cal., 
v.'hether natives or foreigners, as may not be disposed to accept the high privi- 
lege of citizenship, and to live peaceably under the free govt of the U. S., 
will be allowed time to dispose of their property and to remove out of the 
country, without any other restriction, while they remain in it, than the ob- 
servance of strict neutrality — total abstinence from taking part directly or in- 
directly in the war against the U. S. . .AH provisions and supplies , .will be 
Ijaid for at fair rates. No private property will be taken for public ase with- 
out just compensation.' /o«&s at Monterey, 1S42, p. 79-81, 31-2. This doc. 
also is dated Oct. 19th instead of 20th. Jay, Mexican War, 84-6, says the 
proclamation was in print, and must have been printed in Washington or 
Callao; but I think he is in error. I do not find it at all in the archives. 

I have several narratives from memory of the taking of Monterey ; but it 
must be confessed they add nothing to the information contained in the 
original correspondence, while nearly all contain noticeable errors. Max- 
well, Monterey in IS42, MS., 7-11, asserts that the surrender was deemed a 
ruse, that 500 men landed, that the storming party marched up a ravine to 
the fort, where they found 9 guns commanding the ravine, concealed by green 
boughs, loaded and primed, with the matches burning within a few inches of 
the powder! Davis, Glimpse,^ of the Past, MS., 97-106, 231, gives an uiter- 
esting narrative, but says that Alvarado left Monterey on the approach of 
tho vessels without waiting for the summons to surrender. Culverwell, in 
Id., 93-6, also says Alvarado was out of town; and he represents the men on 
board the vessels as having felt considerable fear of the guns on shore. Mrs 
Ord, Ocurrencias, MS., 126-30, says that Alvarado was at first disposed not to 
surrender, but to make a show of resistance and then run awayj but was not 
permitted by his friends to do as he wished. She says Jones' secretary camo 
to her house to demand the key of the custom-house, Pablo de la Guerra who 
had had it having gone to Sta Bdrbara. She told him she had not the key, 
and he threatened to break in the door. Robinson, Life In Cal., 210-11, saya 
tliat Alvarado observed at the time that he preferred to surrender to tho 
Americana rather than submit to Miclieltorcna; and this idea has lii.cii often 
repeated. Vallejo, Hhl. Cal.. MS., iv. 207-.S11, quotes a letter fn.r.i Speiico, 
in which he says the U. S. flag was raised on a temporary stafl' erected by the 


At 7 P. M. David Spence wrote Vallejo, "All is 
tranquil; and the town is almost deserted, for many 
of the officials have fled to the country." Quiet 
reigned over the captured capital through the night, 
and next day the 'war with the United States' caQie 
to an end. Larkin, on his visit to the fleet, had as 
interpreter expressed some doubts about the reported 
hostilities, as they were not mentioned in late news 
from Mexico; but he was unable to procure for Jones 
any late papers or despatches, which circumstance had 
served to increase the latter's suspicions. Landing in 
person in the morning of October 21st to inspect the 
fortifications, the commodore was again told that the 
news from Mexico was late and pacific. Secretary 
Reintrie and Chaplain Bartow, being sent to search 
for details, found in the comisario's ofiice Mexican 
papers of August 4th, and private commercial letters 
from Mazatlan of still later date. The information 
thus obtained not only clearly indicated that relations 
between the two nations were still friendly down to 
August, but also that the rumor of cession to Eng- 
land was unfounded. The Mexican papers, in contra- 
dicting the rumor, even cited the Monroe doctrine as 
one of the obstacles in the way of such a cession, even 
if it had been desirable, which was denied. " This 
change in the aspect of international affairs," writes 
Jones, "called for prompt action on my part. The 
motives and only justifiable grounds for demanding a 
surrender of the territory were thus suddenly re- 
moved, or at least rendered so doubtful as to make it 
my duty to restore things as I had found them, with 

sailors. And Gonzalez, in a memorandum in Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxiv. 112, 
says the Mexican flag-staff was cut down. Alvarado, /list. Cal., MS., v. 18, 
gives no details. See also Oxio, Hist. Cal., MS., 42-2-6; Serrano, Apunfes, 
MS., 70^; Estudillo, Datos, MS., 41^; Torre, Eemln., MS., 10.3-.5; Castro, 
Eeladon, MS., 70-2; Pinto, Apunt, MS., 87-9; Ezqufr, Memoria, MS., 16; 
Vallejo (J. J.), Bemin., MS., 157-8; Oalindo, Apunie-i, MS., 46; Hobinson's 
Statement, MS., 16. Printed accounts besides those already mentioned, 
Mofra.s, Explor., i. 311-14; TuthilVs Hist. Cal., 148-9; Marer'a Mexico as It 
Was, 359-65; Greenkow's Hist. Oregon, 367-8; Cronise's Nat. Wealth Cal., 
51; Capron's Conquest of Cal., 38; American Quarterly Register, ii 156; 
Fngnet, La Cal/fornie, 62-3; Robinson's Cal. Qold Region, T2. 


the least possible delay." After a short conference 
with Armstrong and Stribling, he sent a communica- 
tion to Alvarado and Silva, proposing to restore all 
to the exact condition of the 19th, which was done 
with all due ceremony late in the afternoon, the 
American garrison retiring to their vessels, which 
immediately fired a salute in honor of the Mexican 
flag. Official visits of courtesy were exchanged; re- 
lations altogether friendly were established; and Mi- 
cheltorena was duly notified of all that had occurred,"" 
the Cyane being sent down to Sta Barbara with the 
despatch, and Micheltorena being assured that the 
commodore would await his arrival at Monterey."^ 

Jones remained in the north until the end of the 
year, deeming it prudent to await positive information 
from his government respecting Mexican relations. 
During this time his relations with the authorities 
were altogether friendly, though he found it necessary 
to issue a warning that Mexico would be held respon- 
sible for any acts of hostility to foreigners, since it 
was feared that the news of the retrocession of the 
capital might not be so promptly circulated as had 
been that of the capture.^^ On the 22d Jones made 
a report to Waddy Thompson, U. S. minister in Mex- 
ico, in which he wrote: "It is a source of great satis- 
faction, that notwithstanding what has happened, no 
angry words or unkind expressions have been used by 

^^ Jones to sec. navy. Jonesat Monterey, 1S43, -p. 71-3. Oct. 20th, Spence to 
Vallejo. Hist. Cal, MS., iv. 297. Oct. 21st, Jones to Alvarado and Silva. 
Jonea at Monterq/, 33, 81. Jones to Micheltorena. Id., 33-4, 40. Silva to M. 
Id., 32-3. Alvarado to M. Id., 32. ' My heart bounds -witli joy in my bos- 
om,' -writes Alvarado; 'the joy of the people is complete.' Oct. 21st, 22d, 
Silva to Vallejo. Vatlejo, Doc, MS., xi. 2S0, 2S1; Prado Mesa to V. Id., xi. 
277-S. Oct. 23d, Alvarado to V. Id., xi. 282-3. Oct. 23d, Kichardson to V., 
with account of the whole affair as learned by Howard of the California from 
Pico and Pinto at Sta Clara. Id. , xi. 284. The stoiy was that war had been 
declared at Washington on June 5th. 

^' According to a letter from Jas P. Arthur to Capt Richardson, Vallejo, 
Doc., MS., xxxiii. 295, the sloop was expected to briug the general north. 

"^'^ Oct. 25th, Jones to Alvarado. Jotte.^ at Monterey, 1S43, p. 43, 83. Oct. 
29th, A.'s reply from Alisal. No hostilities intended or to be permitted. Id., 
44, 84. Oct. 24th, J. to A., on his orders of Oct. ISth to preserve order and 
prevent outrage. Oct. 25th, Estrada to J., assuring him that the gov. had 
not placed any reliance on the rumors of danger. Id., 41-4, Sl-4. 


either party; and that, although we had 150 seamen 
and marines on shore 30 hours, not one private house 
was entered, or the slightest disrespect shown to any 
individual ; nor was any species of property, public or 
private, spoiled, if I except the powder burnt in the 
salutes, which I have returned twofold." On the 
24th a report was made to the secretary of the navy, 
which I have had occasion to cite before.-^ Meanwhile 
the captured vessels, the Guipuzcoana, Clarita, Trin- 
idad, and Califoi^nia, had been released; and the stars 
and stripes raised by enthusiastic Americans at Santa 
Cruz replaced by the Mexican flag.^* The master of 
a vessel lying at San Francisco afterwards convinced 
himself that the interests of his owners had in some 
way been injured by the occurrence at Monterey;" 
there was a little correspondence of a mildly warlike 
tone among Californians, with preparations for defence 
sufficing at least to create a claim against the treas- 
ury;-^ and I even find the blotter of a proclamation, 
probably not circulated, in which Colonel Vallejo al- 
ludes to Jones' act as a "violation of the rights of 
hospitality, the law of nations, and the trust with 
which he had been received b}^ the authorities at ]\Ion- 
terey," and calls upon the people to reject such allure- 
ments as were held out in the ' scandalous proclamation ' 
of the 19th, and to take up arms for their country.^' 

^Oct. 24th, Jones to sec. navy, in Jones at Monterey, 1S43, p. 69-73. 
Oct. 22d, J. to Thompson. Id., 87-90; Jones, Agresion en CaVfornias, 91-2. 

^^ BeMen's Hid. Statement, MS., 35. Weeks, Remin., MS., 11-1, mentions 
the fact that Belden himself climbed the flag-staff, and otherwise took a prom- 
inent part in the change. 

'^^ Pinto, Doc, MS., i. 388-90. The vessel was the Primavera, and the 
damage resulted from detention for 6 days, desertion of sailors, etc. There 
is no record that any satisfaction was ever received. 

^^Oct. 30th, Alvarado to Vallejo. Jones tries to give satisfaction, but his 
conduct can but inspire distrust. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 286. Nov. 13th, 
Silva to V. Is ready at the slightest alarm to call the people together and de- 
fend the country. /cl.,xi. 306. Dec. 2d, Micheltorena to V. Jones' attitude 
not being very clear, he is to watch closely and be ready to defend the northern 
frontier. Id., xi. 311. Orders of March 1843 for the payment of a small bill, 
$202, for supplies furnished by Castafiares to ' 100 men who took up arms dur- 
ing the days of the American invasion.' Dept. St. Pap., MS., xii. 2; Id., 
Ben. OusL-II., v. 10-11; Dept. Bee. MS., xiii. 49. 

" Vallejo, Doc, MS., xlv. 35. The blotter bears no date, but was written 
in October. 


Yet the serenity of the north was not seriously dis- 
turbed by the American invasion; and the commo- 
dore's personal and social relations with the inhabitants 
of the invaded country were of a most friendly na- 

On October 26th, the YorUown, Nicholas com- 
mander, arrived at San Francisco from Callao,-" and 
proceeding to Monterey, was despatched on or about 
November 21st to Mazatlan and San Bias, to cruise 
later in the gulf. She carried Lieutenant H. T. 
Hartstene as a bearer of despatches to Washington. 
At the same time the United States, under Armstrong, 
was sent to the Sandwich Islands for supplies,^" the 
broad pennant being transferred to the Cijane. On 
November 1st the commodore had, in a letter to 
Micheltorena, accepted that officer's proposition to 
hold a personal conference in the south, and had ex- 
pressed his intention of coming down the coast about 
the middle of November ;^^ but he was detained nmch 
longer, both by the non-arrival of other vessels belong- 
ing to his fleet, and by his investigations and efforts 
to obtain some legal authentication in the case of the 
Americans who claimed damages for exile in 1840. 
He was not brilliantly successful in this undertaking, 
as the reader is already aware ;^^ and doubtless soon 
convinced himself that the claims had but slight 
foundation in justice. December 11th, he sailed on 

2'Vallejo, Hist. Cal., MS., iv. 341-2, says that Castro disliked Jones, and 
was the only one who sought to undermine his poi^ularity. His hostility 
grew out of Jones' investigation of the Graham aliair. Several Califomians 
say that a grand ball was given to Jones after the I'cstoration of Monterey; 
but Mrs Ord, Ocurrenckis, SiS., 329, tells us that the ball was given to Avra- 
strong after Jones' departure. 

2»0ct. 26th, Richardson, in Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 292. 

^"Nov. 16th, 21st, Jones to see. navy, on his plans. Dec. 7th, Parrott to 
Id., announcing arrival of the YorhlownaX Mazatlan Dec. Cth. Jones at Mon- 
terey, 1S43, p. 90-3. Maxwell, Monterey h, lS,',:i, MS., 10-11, says the ves- 
sels sailed onNov. 22d. Hartstene < iM-seil :\[exico, and arrived Jan. 13th at 
N. Orleans on the WmBryan. XJ,..' /;../., Ixui. :537. 

"Nov. 1, 1842, J. to M., iu ./>./»; (,/ Mo,:/,riy, 1S43, p. 37-9. He writes 
in a eonciliatory tone, defending Jii.s past action; and lie offers to. carry iu the 
vessel soon to be despatched any communications or messenger the general 
may desire to send to Mexico. 

'■■"See chap. i. of this vol.; also Castro, Doc, MS., i. G8-114, for the orig- 
inal corresp. on this subject, lasting from Nov. 13th to Dec. 30th. 


the Cyane, and arrived in three days at San Fran- 
cisco, where he was joined on the 15th by the Dale, 
Dornin commander, from Panamd, bringing news of 
amicable relations between the two republics down to 
the month of June.''^ From San Francisco, Jones 
went to Sonoma, where he was entertained for a day 
or two by Colonel Vallejo, who has a most agreeable 
memory of his visitor's gentlemanly qualities.^* The 
United States returned from Honolulu in December,^^ 
and all three vessels sailed from Monterey January 9, 
1843 — the Dale and United States for Mazatlan, while 
the Cijane with Jones on board touched at Santa 
Barbara and San Pedro. The store-ship of the fleet, 
the Relief, Lieutenant Sterrett, had also arrived be- 
fore the departure of the other vessels, and soon 
followed them southward,^" while the Cyane came 
back later in the year. 

Having thus recorded the 'American invasion' so 
far as it affected northern California, I have now to 
notice some southern aspects of the matter, aspects 

S3 Bee. 14th, 15th, Capt. Richardson to Vallejo, 
Cyane and Dale. Vallejo, JJoc, MS., xi. 315-16. Dec. 15th, com. of Monte- 
rey to V. All the vessels have departed. Id., xi. 317. 

3' Vallejo, Hint. Cal., MS., iv. 325-45, where the visit is described at con- 
siderable length. He says Jones and his men lost their way in coming to 
Sonoma; accidentally as he said, but intentionally as some of his men told 
Loese, with a view to sec more of the country. Vallejo honored his guest 
with a salute from his cannon, and entertained him with a rodeo, Indian 
dance, foot-races, etc. — finally escorting him to the landing. He speaks of 
the commodore in the most flattering terms. Dec. 24th, V. to Micheltoreua, 
mentioning Jones' visit. He thinks the object may have been to win more 
trust in his good faith after the affair of Monterey. Political matters were 
not talked of. Vallejo, Doc., MS., xi. 322. Davis, Glimpses, MS., 103-9, de- 
scribes not only his own visits with Capt. Paty to the flag-ship at Monte- 
rey, and an entertainment given to Jones by the foreign residents of the 
capital, at which the writer was present; but also the friendly intercourse 
between the commodore and the Richardsons and Estudillos at Sauzalito, 
where he also made frequent hunting trips. 

''Davis, Glimpses, MS., 108, says the vessel made the round trip in 29 
days, the quickest on record. Maxwell says she sailed from Monterey with 
the Cynne; and these statements are all the evidence I have that she re- 
turned to Cal. She was however at Mazatlan in February. 

s^She arrived at Monterey from Bodega on Jan. 26th, and sailed on Feb. 
25th. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Ciist.-H., MS., iii. (044-G, 652-3); but I suppose 
she had been at Monterey earlier. Bidwell, California IS^l-S, MS., 90-1, 
speaks of Jones having sent the Helief to Bodega, with some despatches for 
him to deliver (?). 


more amusing than bloody, showing in a not veiy fa- 
vorable light some peculiarities of the new governor. 
It was in the night of October 24th that Michelto- 
rena, at Valle's rancho of San Francisco near Mission 
San Fernando, was aroused from his sleep by the ar- 
rival of messengers from Alvarado with the news that 
Monterey must be surrendered on the 20th. The 
general, if we may credit his statement made a little 
later, wished himself "a thunderbolt to fly and anni- 
hilate the invaders;" but not being a thunderbolt, he 
spent the next day in writing despatches to subordi- 
nates in all parts of the country, and in retreating with 
his batallon fijo some twenty miles to San Fernando. 
His plan of campaign, as declared in his despatches, 
was to establish his headquarters at Angeles, to con- 
centrate there all available force and supplies, and to 
cause all live-stock to be driven from the coast to the 
interior. His confidence in success, like his patriotic 
enthusiasm, was unlimited; his own force was amply 
sufficient, he said, to defeat the intruder, but he was 
unwilling to deprive the Californians of the privilege 
of aiding in so glorious a cause; hence his call for aid. 
His communications to different officials were all of 
the same purport, and I append some choice specimens 
in a note.^' 

" Oct. 25, 1S42, Micheltorena to VaUejo, to Alvarado, to Prefect Argiiello 
at Angeles, to Comandante Carrillo at Sta Bdrbara, in Jones at Monlereij, 1S42, 
p. 24-7; Valkjo, Doc, MS., xxsiii. 294; Depl. St. Pap., MS., xii. 91-4; S. 
Dierio Arch.^'MB., 289. To Vallejo at G A. M. he writes: ' Monterey is no 
douljt occupied by these forces, as it is impossible to defend the place. I 
cannot just now fly to its aid, for I am over 100 leagues away, nor should I 
leave Los Angeles unprotected, where I have arms and ammunition, which in 
the hands of the valiant Californians, united with the force under my com- 
mand, will serve to rout the enemy. You must therefore collect as many men 
as possible, sending me frequent reports on their number and movements in 
order to combine our operations. Triumph is certain; with my present force 
I should not hesitate to attack; but it is just that all share in the pleasure of 
victory, since we are all Mexicans, and it is the duty of all to defend in this 
war the holy religion of our fathers, national independence, private property, 
and even domestic order. Are there any stronger rights which move the hu- 
man heart? Are there Mexican bosoms which do not feel themselves boil 
with valor at seeing this effort to rob us of our territory ? Invite, then, excite, 
move the patriotism of all able to bear arms, and keep well in mind the whole 
and parts of this communication, which I recommend particularly to your re- 
sponsibility.' To Alvarado: 'Everyone who is able to bear arms and does 
not present himself, as soon as the infallible triumph of our arras is won, un- 


Next day, October 2Gth, while still at San Fernan- 
do, Micheltorena received Jones' communication in- 
forming him that Monterey had been restored — -news 
which, reaching other points about the same time, 
prevented any progress being made in the concentra- 
tion of forces and supplies at Angeles. The general 
immediately addressed two letters to the American 
commodore. In the first he wrote: "God and Liber- 
ty ! As the laws of the nation expressly forbid enter- 
ing into any sort of relations with the enemies of the 
independence, liberty, and integrity of the territory, 
I was marching in consequence of the assault com- 
mitted b}^ you on Monterey, to fight you, and at all 
hazards to drive you from the Mexican territory with- 
out using any other idiom than those of lead and can- 
non; but as you, having adopted more prudent coun- 
sels, though I and my valiant men were only 150 
leagues from you, have thought proper to evacuate 
the place, to reestablish the authorities, to re-hoist 
and properly salute the flag of my nation, and to re- 
embark all your troops, declaring the Mexican vessels 

der the protection of providence, will be declared unworthy of the Mexican 
name, an enemj' of the country, to be expelled ignominiously from her soil.' 
To Arguello: ' I congratulate myself with you and every Mexican that these 
miserables afford us an opportunity to demonstrate the national valor, and 
that we are worthy to bear the name of Independieutes.' He announces his 
retreat to S. Fernando — the other letters are written from the raucho— and 
his intention to continue the movement to Angeles. The authorities of S. 
Diego are ordered to send their cannon to Angeles. To the comandantc at 
Sta Barbara; ' Under these circumstances you wUl proceed forthwith to place 
in safety, by sending them to Angeles with all the forces that can be collected, 
all the ai-ms, artillery, and other property of the nation, as they may dh-ect 
their attack against that port. You will invite all the inhabitants, the niost 
illustrious bishop, and other authorities to meet at Angeles, where I am about 
to establish ray headquarters, in order to arrange the operations of a war so 
holy, so just, and so national.' The Bepublicano was to be sent to S. Pedro, 
and the munitions on board taken to Angeles in carts. ' Viva la nacion Me- 
jicana!' In 1844 Micheltorena claimed that the rebels against him had re- 
moved all supplies from around Monterey, in imitation of his own policy in 
1842! CaDfannref!, Col Doc, 59. Replies to Micheltorena's communications 
at van'fHi"! dntpf:, fwin Oct. 'i'ltli — all more or less patriotic in tone. Jones at 
jl/o/ ■ ■ ', 1' -j: 'I- ' !■'.-•, Arch., MS., ii. 290-1. A writer in 

the /, I , ; ! :> 1 - 74, claims that the intrenchments, traces 

of wlii« ii ,;i.- ■ au \ i-ii i. ;ii .\ji^, ir.-, were thrown up by Micheltorena's men 
at this lime, ilaudmi, IJi'^i. C'L, MS., 103-4; Botello, Annlet dd Sin; MS., 
102; Oslo, Hist. Col., MS., 426; Coronel, Cosns de Cat, MS., 43; Ord, Ocur- 
rencian, MS., 128, simply state that Micheltorena on hearing the news of the 
capture retired to Angeles and began defensive operations. 


free at tlie moment when you addressed to me the 
letter just received, I now answer you by this sepa- 
rate despatch, in order to assure you that we Mexi- 
cans know how to answer with arms and fire when we 
are addressed in terms of war, and, if peacefully, with 
the harmony and civility compatible with the age in 
which we live, and with the enlightened nations to 
which we both belong." The other communication, 
in words almost as pompous and much more numer- 
ous, declared that "the multitude of persons now sur- 
rounding me will not be content with such satisfaction 
as you can give me in a single official despatch;" the 
satisfaction, like the outrage, nmst be public; and he 
insisted on a personal conference at Angeles, eight 
leagues from Jones' force at San Pedro, and twelve 
leagues from Micheltorena's army at San Fernando; 
or if Jones feared to venture, "mistrusting the word 
and faith of an old soldier," then the general would 
boldly go in person with a few officers to San Pedro.^^ 
It is claimed by Vallejo and Alvarado that Michel- 
torena heard of the capture and restoration of the 
capital at the same time, and that his orders of Octo- 
ber 25th were issued with a full knowledge that all 
danger had passed; but the accusation is probably 
unfounded, and the orders were of the patriotico-bom- 
bastic type usually issued in such cases by Spanish 
American officials. No other style would have satis- 
fied the people or the supreme government that the 
writer was doing his duty; and it was generally the 
effect in Mexico, and not on the foe, that was consid- 
ered when such proclamations were issued. Moreover, 
the order to remove all supplies to the interior as a 
means of resisting invasion, was in accord with Span- 
ish and Mexican policy for many years past, and does 
not merit all the ridicule that has been heaped upon 
it. This is about as far as I can go in defence of 
Micheltorena's course. His replies to Jones were as 

'» Oct. 26, 1842, M. to J. Two despatches. Jones at Monterey, ISJfi, p. 


absurdly weak, affected, rude, and boastful as tliey 
could have been made; and indeed. Minister Waddy 
Thompson subsequently declared that, as he had the 
strongest reasons to believe, the first of the two com- 
munications of October 26th was never sent to Jones 
at all. 

But Micheltorena's gasconade was not yet at an 
end. Jones not arriving as early as had been expected, 
the general prepared, on November 19th, a report of 
all that had preceded for his government, attaching to 
it the terms of the treaty which the American leader 
was expected to sign. With the report, which went 
to San Bias on the Trinidad sailing on or about the 
20th, were enclosed twenty-seven documents, all re- 
ferred to elsewhere. I append some portions of the 
report and the purport of the treaty, which show that 
Micheltorena told a deliberate falsehood, to the effect 
that he was marching to attack Monterey when he 
heard of its restoration; that he had the impudence to 
demand payment for uniforms and instruments spoiled 
during his march in the rain; and that he was vain 
enough to represent that Jones' real motive in restor- 
ing the capital had been fear of this valiant general 
and his batallon fijo! Even the Californians, who had 
large capacity for bombast, were disgusted with this 
exhibition from their new ruler. ^^ 

''Nov. (19), 1842, M. to Tomel, min. of war, with 27 accompanying doc, 
being for the most part the corresp. already cited, but containing several 
communications not included in those furnished by Jones direct to the U. S. 
govt. Jones at Monterey, 1842, p. 18-44. 

The demand for surrender ' will justly excite the indignation of the sup. 
magistrate as well as of yourself and every Mexican, on seeing that without 
even a plausible pretext, and in defiance of the laws of nations and the treaties 
between the two countries, an armed force comes to occupy the national terri- 
tory.' 'Your Excellency may imagine my indignation. I -wished myself a 
thunderbolt to fly and annihilate the invaders; but 110 leagues intervened be- 
tween me and them, and my forces are all infantry. I nevertheless spent the 
night in preparing measures. organize an active and incessant war on the 
enemy until he should have been obliged to reembark, if any of his forces should 
remain alive. On the following day, the 2Cth, I began my march' — directly 
away from Monterey if at all — 'with my troops, of whose enthusiasm I cannot 
say too much, when I felicitated them, in the name of our country, on the oc- 
casion thus presented for proving that we are worthy of the confidence of the 
nation, and worthy to defend the Jlexican territory, our dear independence, 
and all the rights of society and man. North and south of my headquarters 


The American ship Tasso was lying at San Pedro 
\yhen the news arrived that Monterey had been 
taken. Jos6 Antonio Carrillo and Captain Prudon 
conceived the idea of seizing this vessel, applying to 
the prefect for authority. Argiiello in turn referred 
the matter to Micheltorena, who disapproved the 
seizure and ordered the release of the captain, who 
had been detained, blaming Carrillo and Prudon for 
interfering in national affairs, which he himself was 
entirely competent to manage.*' This act enabled the 
general in the report already cited to boast that not a 
single act of violence had been committed against the 
persons or property of subjects of the United States. 
But those subjects could show not quite so clean a rec- 

everything was in motion; and the fever of patriotism which I excited with 
energetic force beat quickly... In this state of things I was met by Capt. 
Mcjia,' who came from Monterey where he had 'wished not to sign any capitu- 
lation unless ordered to do so by his general, a general who would have or- 
dered him to conquer or die, ' and who brought details of the surrender. ' We 
thus marched for two hours, during which my soul was rapt in ecstasies at 
the flattering prospect of a speedy and certain victory, . . .when another ex- 
traordinary courier brought me' news of the evacuation of Monterey. 'So his 

E.Kcellency, Mr , did not choose to wait for our arrival as a hostile force, 

and the feelings of my heart. ..were at once of grief and joy, of regret and 
pleasure, of contentment and disappointment; but providence has so willed 
ii; therefore it is for the best, and we have only to respect and bow to its de- 
crees. ' But for the activity, etc. , of President Santa Anna and the min. of 
war in sending me and my force here, California would now have to be re- 
covered at double the expense that Texas has cost. Therefore 'I pray your 
Excellency to ask the president whether the conduct of one of his generals in 
this negotiation has been such as to merit his high approbation.' 

The articles of convention, sent unsigned by reason of Jones' non-arrival, 
were substantially as follows: i., ii. The indemnification for outrage on the 
flag, and settlement of claims for damages to individuals to be left to the 
sup. govt. iii. Jones declares that he took Monterey in the erroneous belief 
that war existed ; and each promises never to attack the possessions of the 
other's country except in case of an express declaration of war. iv. Tlie 
capitulation signed by Jones and Alvarado is forever void and of no effect. 
V. The U. S. men-of-war and merchant vessels at S. Pedro will salute the 
Mexican flag to be displayed before them by Micheltorena at noon of the 
next day after signing this treaty, vi. 'MrThosApC. Jones will deliver 
1,500 complete infantry uniforms to replace those of nearly one half of the 
Mexican forces which have been ruined in the violent march and the contin- 
ued rains, whUe they were on their way to recover the port thus invaded.' 
vii. Jones to pay $15,000 into the national treasury for expenses incurred 
from the general alarm; also a complete set of musical instruments in place 
of those ruined on this occasion, viii. Respecting copies and signatures of 
this document. Tliese articles are several times reprinted in connection 
with later correspondence. 

*»Oct. 25th, Prefect Arguello toM. Jones at Montereif, IS.'fi, p. 39. Oct. 
26th, reply. Id., p. 40; Dept. St. Pap., Angeles, MS., xii. 94-6. 


ord. The Alert was lying at San Diego, having on 
board and on shore a valuable cargo of hides. Captain 
Phelps heard of the capture of Monterey, and at the 
same time a rejDort that a force had been despatched 
b}^ Micheltorena to seize all' property at San Diego. 
Determined to save his cargo, he made ready for sail- 
ing, worked night and day to load his hides, and pro- 
ceeded to remove every obstacle to his escape by send- 
ing a party of sailors to spike the guns at the fort. 
It is not likely that Micheltorena had ordered the 
seizure of the hides or vessel, but he had probably 
sent men to secure the cannon, and it was the ap- 
proach of these men that chiefly frightened Phelps. 
The affair was considerably written about in Mexico, 
and to the charge of spiking the guns was added that 
of throwing ballast into the harbor; but the ground 
was taken that the offence was purely an individual 
and in no sense a national one ; and as the owners were 
willing to pay the damage, the matter was allowed to 

Leaving Montei'ey January 9th, Jones, on the 
Cyane, arrived at Santa Barbara the 14th, and in- 
formed Micheltorena of his readiness for the proposed 
conference at San Pedro,*^ to which port he proceeded 
on the 17th, and late in the afternoon received an 
invitation to visit the general at his headquarters at 

" Phelps, Fore and Aft, 2G1-3. He says he got the news from Alfred 
Robinson, his supercargo, at Sta Barbara; also that his men took a barrel of 
copper shot at the fort and threw the rest into the sea; but no charge of this 
kind was ever made. Half the cargo was on board when the news came of 
Jones' mistake; and at tliat time Micheltorena's 'vagabonds' were within 
two hours' march of the ship. Dec. 10th, Phelps to Joues. Translation. 
Diario del Gob., Feb. 19, 1843; Bustatnante, Diario, Ixvi. 69, with a letter of 
Jones on the subject. Nov. 4th, juez of S. Diego to prefect, announcing the 
spiking of 8 guns. Dept. St. Pap., Ang., MS., vii. '28. Corresp. between 
ministers Bocanegra and Thompson, Dec. 28th-30th. Mexico, Mem. Relaciones, 
1844, annexes xcii-v. 

" Jan. 14th, 15th, Jones at Sta BArbara to M. Diario del Gobierno, Feb. 
19, 1843; Bmtamante, Diario, MS., Ixvi. 69. At first he says the conference 
will have to be in writing, or by commissioners on account of his ill health; 
but in a P. S. he concludes to visit S. Pedro. He brought down despatches 
and money for M. from Monterey; and oflfered to cany a 


Angeles, an invitation which he accepted.^ Next 
morning Jones landed with Captain vStribling and 
half a dozen others; and at 2 p. m., after a dinner 
prepared by Micheltorena's cooks at Stearns' store- 
liouse, the party started for the pueblo, Jones, Strib- 
ling, Clymer, and Reintre sitting with Major Medina 
in a barouche drawn by three horses, the rest on 
horseback, and all escorted by twenty-five mounted 
men of the Santa Bdrbara guard. The visitors were 
taken to the residence of Abel Stearns, where they 
were soon waited upon by Micheltorena and his staff 
in full uniform, who made a most favorable impres- 
sion by their gentlemanly bearing and polite atten- 

At noon on the 19th the conference was held at 
the general's headquarters, where, after the drinking 
of toasts and making of complimentary speeches, 
Micheltorena proceeded to read his ' articles of con- 
vention,' with which the reader is already familiar, 
and copies of which were furnished for Jones' consid- 
eration. This ended the conference; but in the 
evening the Americans, in a drenching rain, attended 
a grand ball given by the general in their honor. In 
the forenoon of the 20th Jones returned the ' articles,' 
of course without his signature, and with a note 
explaining that he had no authority to enter into 
such an agreement, and that the whole matter of 
reparation must be left to the respective govern- 

*' Jan. 17th, M. to J. and reply, sent by Lieut Soraoza, in Unpublished 
Narrative of Commodore Thos Ap C. Jones, U. S. jV. This narrative by 
an unknown writer, wlio evidently accompanied Jones to Angeles, was puli- 
lished in the Los Amjeles Southern Vineyard, May 22, 1858, and gives an in- 
teresting account of the visit and negotiations. Much of it is occupied with 
descriptive matter, for wliich I have no space here. The same communica- 
tions, under date of Jan. ISth, are given in Diario del Gobierno, Feb. 19, 

■" Jones^ Unpiib. Narr. The author gives a well written sketch of Michel- 
torena's actions and character. Of him he says: ' Had he contented himself 
with the issuing of countless orders and high-toned proclamations, few would 
have found fault with him, for in truth it was all that his situation left him; 
but to resort to the disingenuous artifice of writing letters never sent and of 
sending drafts of demands not yet made, and when made abandoned without 
an eflfort to sustain them, was an act which neither Mexican diplomacy nor 
Castilian gasconade can scatcely palliate, and certainly cannot justify.' 
"HiST. Cal., Vol. IV. 21 


ments.^^ Micheltorena made no effort to change tlie 
connnodore's views, nor did he show offence, but sim- 
ply desired him to delay his departure until he could 
prepare his despatches for Mexico, which consisted of 
the correspondence that has been cited, and a letter to 
General Tornel, in which he described the negotiations 
with Jones, and the latter's objections to the articles 
of convention proposed.^" Friendly relations con- 
tinued, the subject of politics was not mentioned, and 
at their last interview complimentary speeches were 
exchanged. At 1 p. m., January 21st, Jones left the 
city, amidst the beating of drums, firing of cannon, and 
ringing of bells, saluted by the general and his wife 
from the door of his quarters, escorted as on his com- 
ing, and accompanied for some miles by many citizens. 
The arrival at San Pedro was at 5 p. m., and three 
hours later the Cyane sailed for Mazatlan, where she 
arrived the 1st of February to join the United States 
and Yorktown.*^ 

"Jan. 20th. Jones to Micheltorena, in Diario del GoUerno, Feb. 19, 1S43, 
aud partly in Jones' Urvpuh. Narr. The author of this narrative says J. was 
very much vexed at the absurd demands made; yet he maintained friendly 
relations, and in his letter he takes pains to explain anew the reasons for his 
l^ast action. The articles, 8 in number, are also given in the Diario del Gob., 
as above, and in Dipt. St. Pap., Aug., MS., \'ii. 38^1. Bandiui, Hist. Cal., 
MS., 104-7, says M.'s soldiers drew the carriage that took J. to the ball. 
Oslo, Hist. Cal., MS., 428-30, narrates an alarm at Angeles while J. was 
asleep, caused by a report tliat 3 ships had Ijeen seen off the coast, and by the 
burning of a house, whicli the general feared to be but a ruse to call attention 
while his own capture was effected ! Jolin Forster, Pioneer Data, MS., 24-5, 
speaks of the dinner at San Pedro, which he says was at his house. Botello, 
Anales, MS., 103-4, also speaks of the festivities at Angeles, as does Coronel, 
Cosas de Cal., MS., 43-4. Alvarado, Hist. Cal., MS., v. 18-20, ridicules M.'s 
despatches. In Los Angeles Hist., 15, it is stated that Jones visited Angeles 
in Nov. 1842. Mention also of the visit in Amador, Mem., MS., 142; and by 
Davis, Glimp.'ies, MS., 109-10, who got bis information from Henry Melius, 
lie says J. aud his officers got several barrels of choice California wine from 
Luis Vignes, whose place they visited. Davis and Paty had already sent them 
some wine at Monterey. 

<« Jan. 20th, M. to Tornel. Diario del Gob., Feb. 19, 1843, with 6 docu- 
ments apnexed. Same date, M. sends a similar report of his interview to the 
prefects. S. Diego, Arch., MS., 293; Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 315. Vallejo, 
Hist. Cal, MS., iv. 314-24, quotes the le"tter to Prefect Estrada, and gives 
some information on the authority of J. A. Carrillo, which, though amusing, 
is very inaccurate. 

" Jones' Unpub. Noj-rative, which gives a parting note sent by Jones to 
the generals with some congressional documents that had been referred to in 
their interviews. 


Miclieltorena's despatches of November 19th by 
the Trinidad were sent in haste from Tepic on De- 
cember 7th, and were published at Mexico in the 
Diario del Gobierno of the i4th, of course accompa- 
nied by some rather bitter comments/* Five days 
later Jose Marfa de Bocanegra, minister of relations, 
addressed to the U. S. minister in Mexico, Waddy 
Thompson, a long letter on the subject, expressing in 
strong but dignified terms the surprise and grief of 
his government at having suffered from an officer of 
the United States — a nation whose protestations of 
friendly and peaceful feelings had been accepted in 
good faith — "the greatest outrage that can be done to 
an independent and sovereign nation." He closed by 
demanding, in the president's name, "for the conduct 
of Commodore Jones, due reparation and satisfaction, 
corresponding to the magnitude of the offence, together 
with an indemnity equivalent to the damages suffered 
by the government or people of California, in conse- 
quence of the aggression aforesaid."'"' 

Thompson's reply was returned eight days later, he 
having in the mean time received Jones' explanation 
of his acts and motives. He declared that the "acts 
of the American commodore were wholly unauthor- 
ized by any orders from his government, and that the 
fullest disclaimer to that effect will be promptly made, 
with whatever other reparation may be due to the 
honor of Mexico, and which is not incompatible with 
that of the United States." He blamed Bocanegra 
for his insinuations that the act had been authorized; 
reminded him that the hostile attitude of Mexico in 
May — an attitude which, as he clearly implies, was 
assumed in expectation of war between the United 
States and England — gave Jones much reason to be- 

^' Dec. 7th, Castillo Negrete from Tepic to Minister Tornel, forwarding 
?iIicheltoreua's despatches. Jones at Monterey, 1S43, p. 17. The despatches 
in Id., 18-44, already disposed of, were those published in Diario del Gobierno, 
Dec. 14, 1842. It was on the same day, Dec. 7th, that Parrott sent Jones' 
despatches to Mexico. 

''Dec. 19th, B. to T. Jones, Agresion en Californias, p. 87-0; Jones at 
Monterey, p. 9-12. 


lieve that war bad been declared; and finally alluded 
most sarcastically to Micheltorena's conduct, express- 
ing his regret that the general's "coarse and abusive 
epithets" applied to Americans, and the "rudeness 
and gasconade of his note of October 26th — a note 
which, as there were the strongest reasons to believe, 
had never been sent, no doubt from inadvertence" — 
had not been rebuked by the Mexican government.'^'' 
In forwarding this correspondence to Washington, 
Thompson says: "It would have done no good, you 
may be assured, to have assumed any lower tone, for 
the Mexican government are disposed to make the 
most of this unfortunate affair; and I should not be 
surprised if they were to attempt to have it consid- 
ered as a payment of all our claims."" 

With the exception of an interchange of letters on the 
subject of the Alert's actions at San Diego, as already 
noted, there was no further official correspondence in 
Mexico. The papers early in January published a 
short article, in which was expressed satisfaction at 
the reply of the U. S. minister, promising in the 
name of his government all the reparation due to 
Mexican honor for the luiauthorized act of Jones. In 
February Micheltorena's despatches of January were 
published in the Diario.^^ Soon came the announce- 
ment that Jones had been relieved of his command 
and called home for trial; and Bocanegra, in his 
inemoria of 1844, declared that all had been satisfac- 
torily settled, and Mexican honor vindicated, by the 
action of the United States, in accordance with the 
just and firm demands of the nation as expressed 
through himself ^^ Several Mexican or Spanish writers 

^'Deo. 27th, Thompson to Bocanegra, Jonei^ at Monterey, lSJf.2, p. 12-14. 
Jonef, Ar/re-sionen C'alifortiias, p. 89-91. To the letters are attached the docu- 
ments from Jones and Micheltorena. 

51 Dec. 28, 1842, T. to Webster. Jones at Monterey. IS4J, p. 9. 

52 Diario del Gobierno, Jan. 7, 1843, Feb. 19, 1843; Siglo, xix., Jan. 10, 1843; 
Bustamante, Diario, MS., Ixvi. 35, 69. 

^Mexico, Mem. Relaciones, 1844, p. 11-12. The annexes Ixxxvii.-xcWi., 
containing the diplomatic correspondence on the subject, bear the following 
title, under which I have referred to them: Ar/resion en Californktu por el 
Comodoro de los Estados-Unidos de America, Tliomas Ape Jones. It is to hi 


have mentioned the American invasion of 1842, gen- 
erally representing that Jones acted under instruc- 
tions from Washington, that only fear of Micliel- 
torena's forces impelled him to restore Monterey, and 
that the U. S. government promised reparation only 
in consequence of the firm stand taken by Mexico. 
None admits for a moment that both the commodore 
and his government acted in good faith, thougli from 
all the evidence that seems to have been the truth. °* 

The first information that reached the United 
States respecting Jones' movements was apparently 
contained in a letter from some person on the Dale at 
Panamd, which was published in December 1842, and 
contained a conjecture that California was to be saved 
from English clutches.^^ Early in 1843, however, the 
news came unofficially, before Lieutenant Hartstene 
had arrived with despatches from Monterey and Mex- 
ico; and on January 17th, Webster directed Thomp- 
son to lose no time in assuring the Mexican gov- 
ernment that Jones' action had been altogether 
unauthorized, notifying General Almonte, the Mexi- 

noteil that in nearly all that was printed on the subject in Spanish, the 'Ap 
C of Jones' name is rendered 'Ape ' ! 

'•"Gen. Torucl, Mexico, Mem. (Juerra, 1844, p. 49, in recording this iiiati- 
dilo atentado, says: 'Lo3 invasores no hubieran quedado impuues si hubierau 
persistido en una agresion tan injustificable.' Cdrlos Maria Bustamante, 
Diario, MS., l.xv. p. 240-1, speaks of Jones' 'pretesto frivolo y miserable,' 
and goes on to say, 'Finally, Micheltorena ordered him to surrender, and 
after much gasconade ( !) the commodore retired, saluting the fort of Monte- 
rey, which he would have kept permanently if he had not encountered unex- 
pected opposition. Thanks to Sta Anna, who so opportunely sent the said 
cliief with a battalion,' etc. Francisco de Paula de Arrangoiz, Mejico, ISOS- 
JSG7, ii. '252-4, criticises with much severity and ridicule this as one of the U. 
S.' 'most scandalous and aggressive acts toward the Mexican republic' He 
cites the fact (erroneous, I suppose) that Jones' proclamation was in print, as 
a strong point against the good faith of his excuses. ' Pero no obro el como- 
doro Americano motu propria; todo lo que ^1 dijo so le dict6 por el gobierno, 
que tenia seguramente el plan de que darse con lasCalifornias.' 'El gobierno 
de los E. U. desaprohd el proceder de su comodoro; pero no le castig(5 ni le 
retirci el mando, & pesar de haberlo pedido el de M(5jico, que hubo de con- 
tentarse con que se le dij(5ra que "no liabia querido injuriarle ni hacer nada 
iHcito contra sus ciudadanos." Que burla!' See also Rivera, Hiit. Jalapa, 
iii. 548; Ceballo-i, Vindicacion Mejicana, 81-2, 148-50. 

"Sept. 23, 1842, to Wm C. Bryant, editor of iV. r. Post, in Niles' Reg., 
Ixiii. 243. 


can minister at Washington, to the same efFect.^^ 
Almonte in his reply demanded the exemplary punish- 
ment of Jones, whose delinquency was "so serious, so 
obvious, and so notorious, that it would be superfluous 
to particularize its enormities." On the same day that 
this note was written, the secretary of the navy wrote 
an order recalling Jones and naming Commodore Dal- 
las as his successor;^'' and Webster on January 30th 
informed Almonte that proper action had been taken, 
not specifying what action, and assured him that am- 
ple reparation would be made for all real injuries done ; 
though, while expressing deep regret for what had 
occurred, he maintained that Jones "intended no in- 
dignity to Mexico, nor anything unlawful toward her 
citizens," and that "in the clearly manifest absence of 
all illegal and improper intent, some allowance may 
properly be made for acts of indiscretion in a quarter 
so very remote." Almonte, however, was not disposed 
to make any such allowance; and he would not admit 
that Jones had any other motive for restoring Mon- 
terey than fear of an attack by Micheltorena, and 
disappointment at finding the Californians neither 
discontented nor defenceless. Moreover, he insisted 
in very plain terms on knowing whether Webster's 
statement that "the president had given directions 
for the adoption of such a course as in his opinion was 
due to the circumstances of the case," etc., might be 
interpreted to mean that Jones had been recalled for 

5« Jan. 17, 1843, W. to T.; Jan. 21st, Id. to Almonte; Jan. 24th, A. to 
W.; Jan. 30th, W.'s reply, in Joiies at Monterey, 1842, p. 3-6. 

" Jan. 24th, Upshur to Jones, in Jones at Monterey, ISifi, p. 66; Jones, Agre- 
sion en Gal., 96-7. Official news had not yet arrived, but must have come 
through Hartstene in a few days. Upshur writes: 'In adopting this course, 
it is not designed to prejudge the case, nor even to indicate any opinion as to 
the propriety or impropriety of your conduct in the matter alluded to. This 
will of course be made the subject of proper inquiry after yom- return to the 
U. S. The present order has reference only to the just claims of Me.^co on 
this govt, for such a disavowal of the attack on Monterey as will fully recog- 
nize the rights of Mexico, and at the same time place the conduct of the govt 
in a proper light before the nations of the world. Com. Dallaswill relieve 
you as soon as he can conveniently reach the station; and you will return to 
the U. S. in such mode as may be most convenient and agreeable to yourself.' 


trial and punishment, as the Mexican government had 
a right to demand.^^ 

Webster did. not furnish the interpretation desired 
by the Mexican minister directly; but on February 
1st the matter had come up in congress. John 
Quincy Adams introduced resolutions calling upon 
the president to state by what authority Commodore 
Jones had invaded Mexican territory; to furnish all 
instructions given to Jones, and all communications 
received from him relative to the Monterey affair; and 
finally to state whether an order had been sent for his 
recall.^" The resolutions were adopted, and the re- 
quired information, that Jones had acted without 
authority and had been recalled, was furnished Feb- 
ruary 22d, the president's message and accompanying 
documents constituting a source of information which 
I have often quoted."^ The message was forwarded 
to Almonte the 3d of March, as an answer to his de- 
mands, and seems to have been satisfactory." The 
general tone of such newspaper articles of the time as 
I have seen seems to have been determined by politi- 
cal prejudices rather than by the mei'its of the case;*^" 
and neither in American newspapers nor books has 
there been shown a disposition to do justice to the 
honorable motives which animated Commodore Jones 
in his action under circumstances of difficulty. The 
reason is to be found in the connection of the subject 
with the complications of Texan affairs and sectional 
politics in the United States. 

As may readily be imagined, no very terrible pun- 
ishment was ever inflicted on the commodore for his 

^' Feb. 7, 1842, Almonte to Webster. Jones at Monterey, 6-8. There was 
no reply to this argument. 

S3 U. S. Govt Doc, 27th cong. 3d sess., House Jour., p. 294-8, 433; Con- 
gressional Globe (same congress), p. 232-5, 330. 

^^ U. S. Govt Doc, 27th cong. 3d sess., H. Ex. Doc, no. 166, or as already- 
explained, Jones at Monterey, 1S43. 

*' March 3d, Webster to Almonte. Jones, Afjresion en Ccdiforrtias, p. 9.5-6. 

«2In Niks' Rer/., Ixiii. 322, 337, 369-70 (.Ja'n.-Feb.) 1843; and />mWo del 
Gobierno, March 31, 1843, are extracts and articles from the National Intelli- 
gencer; iV. 0. Bee; iV. Y. Courier; N. Y. Express; Madisonian; Pennsylvania 
Enquirer, etc. 


'inaudito atentado.' In August 1843 Dallas was at 
Callao, but had not yet met Jones, who had sailed for 
the Islands.^^ It is not clear that he ever met him, 
since Dallas died at Callao in June 1844. Jones had 
been ordered to return home " in such mode as may 
be most convenient and agreeable" to himself, and he 
found it most agreeable to keep out of his successor's 
way. After a cruise in the Pacific he returned to 
Valparaiso, and seems to have gone home in the 
United States before the end of 1844.*^* There was 
never any trial; and on March 1, 1845, the secretary 
of the navy in an official communication exonerated 
Jones from all blame, and promised him a new com- 
mand.''^ In later years he again commanded the 
Pacific squadron. 

«' Report sec. navy, Deo. 1843. U. S. Govt Doc, 2Sth cong. 1st sess., 
H. Ex. Doc. no. 2, p. 484. 

** I have not found any official narrative of his movements after he sailed 
for the Islands. Lancey, Cruise of the 'Dale, ' 33, says Dallas ' took the old 
store-ship Uric, and started in search of Jones. Now that wiry little commo- 
dore was not to be caught with any such chaff. He got wind of the move- 
ment, and so sailed from one port to another, always keeping a little ahead of 
the Erie, leaving port ostensibly for one place and steering for another. He 
visited the Islands, and then returned to Valparaiso, when he told the consul 
he had brought the ship to the Pacific, and he would be damned if he 
wouldn't take her home. And so, snapping his fingei-s at Dallas, he sailed 
away round the Horn for Old Virginia.' Similar versions are given by Cul- 
vcrwell, in Davis' Glimpses, MS., 96; and by Maxwell, Monlereij iiilS42, MS., 

^ March 1, 1845, Mason to Jones, in Honolulu Polynesian, Jan. 3, 1848. 
I have not before me the volume of govt reports containing the original; but 
I suppose it is ia U. S. Govt Doc, 30th cong. 1st sess., H. Ex. Doc. no. S, 
p. 1304, with perhaps a reply in Id., 30th cong. 2d sess., no. 1, p. 67. ' The 
president has authorized me to say to you, that in those circumstances of 
your conduct, while in command of the Pacific squadron, which induced 
your recall, on explanation he perceives evidences of an ardent zeal in the 
service of your country, and a devotion to what you deemed to be your duty, 
regardless of personal consequences, which entitle you to anything but cen- 
sure from your government. Ample atonement having been made to Mexico 
for your acts complained of, there has been no disposition to visit you with 
punishment of any description for conduct actuated by such elevated princi- 
ples of duty. Of this you were apprised immediately after your return. 
The department has been and still is anxious to give you employment; in 
this wish the president concurs, and it will give him the greatest pleasure to 

see you speedily placed in a situation corresponding with your rank and 
merits.' It is to be noted that in 1843 JNIr Adams had attempted in congi-ess 
unsuccessfully to pass a resolution makmg provision for the ' signal punish- 
ment ' of any officer invading the territory of a nation at peace with the U, 
S. Mouse Journal, 27th cong. 3d sess. , p. 570. 


The occupation of Monterey by the United States 
for a day was an accident that resulted in nothing- 
good or bad. It involved no taint of dishonor or of 
sharp practice for either the American commodore or 
his nation. It was but technically an outrage on 
Mexico, for which ample reparation was made. Its 
lessons were not important. It showed clearly what 
had not been wrapped in mystery before, that the 
United States was not disposed to be forestalled by 
any European power in California, at least if it could 
be prevented by legitimate means. It confirmed 
what it had never occurred to anybody to doubt, that 
California was an easy prey for any nation that had 
only Mexicans to contend with. It gave Michel- 
torena a splendid chance to write himself an ass; and 
as to the Californians, while it was too brief to afford 
any reliable index to their sentiments, so far as it 
went it indicated a feeling of indifference at least. 
The leading Californians were more surprised at the 
restoration than at the capture, though perhaps it 
can hardly be said that they regretted it more. 
Most foreigners would have been pleased to see the 
occupation permanent. Mofras, writing from a French 
standpoint, declares that Jones should have kept 
Monterey and seized San Francisco. There was, 
however, among all classes in California, in Mexico, 
and in the United States a vague feeling that the 
whole transaction had a hidden mysterious meaning 
in politics entirely distinct from that which the com- 
modore gave it. People were slow to accept a ver- 
sion which was at the same time plausible, natural, 
and true. 

One of Jones' officers made a sketch of Monterey 
Bay with the men-of-war at anchor, which was litho- 
graphed and sent back for Larkin, and now hangs in 
my Library. 




Mission Management — Decree of Restoration— Dctran and Alvarabo 
— Local Items — Bishop Garcia Diego at Santa Barbara— Grand 
Episcopal Plans — The Pious Fund in Mexico— Santa Anna Takes It 
from the Bishop — Incorporated in the National Treasury — The 
Result— Indian Affairs — No Hostilities and Few Rumors— Com- 
mercial AND Maritime Affairs — List of Vessels — Financial Items — 
Foreigners — List of Pioneers and Visitors for the Year— Part of 
the Baetleson Company Return Overland— Minor Items — New 
Mexican Immigration— Bibliography of 1842— Robinson's Life in 
California — Visit op the 'King's Orphan' — Bidwell's Journey — 
Marsh's Letter to Jones— Peirce's Letters. 

On general management of tlie ex-missions in 
1842 there is nothing to be added to my remarks for 
1841.^ True, the bishop brought a decree of Novem- 
ber 17, 1840, issued in conformity with that of No- 
vember 7, 1835, which required the missions to be 
restored to their former condition, for the restoration 
to the friars "without delay or impediment, of the 
possessions and property used by them under their 
administration for the conversion of gentiles;" but 
this decree, not intended to restore the management 
of temporalities, but only the 'church property,' was 
not at once enforced in California, nor was there in 
1842 any attempt to enforce it, as it was deemed best 
to wait until a new governor had assumed control.^ 

' See chap. vii. of this vol. 

^I have not found the original of this decree of Nov. 17, 1840. A trans- 
lation is given in Hartman'i Brief in Mission Cases, 29-31. See also Hayes' 



There is to be noted an increasing dissatisfaction on 
the i^art of the southern friar-curates because of the 
governor's grants of mission ranchos to private indi- 
viduals. In the case of La Puente near San Gabriel, 
granted to Rowland and Workman, Prefect Duran 
went so far as to send a complaint and protest to the 
supreme government.' This case was selected for the 
purpose, 1 suppose, because the grantees were the ob- 
jects of suspicion in Mexico; but nothing was effected, 
though Duran had a controversy with Alvarado, 
whose anger he had excited. The governor used vio- 
lent language, but apologized on receipt of certain 
explanations from the friar, so that the old friendship 
was restored.'' Among local items I may mention the 
order issued in September for the distribution of lands 
and other property at San Luis Obispo among such 
of the neophytes as were most deserving;^ and an 
alleged attempt of the comandante at Santa Bdrbara 
to prevent the delivery of three hundred head of cat- 
tle from Santa Ines, which had been ordered by Al- 
varado.® A Mexican item of a kind not unusual in 

Legal Hist. S. Diego, no. 57, 45; Id., Mission Book, i. 17; Mofras, Explor., 
i. 304; Land Commission, no. 609; Alemany w U. S., p. 17. 

3 Feb. 21st, D. to min. of int. Doc. Hist. Cat., MS., iv. 1131-2; Arch. Sta 
£., MS., vi. 81-3; x. 232-4; Sta Bdrbara, Arch., MS., 39. 

* Feb. 5, 1842, Alvarado to Durau; April 26th, D.'s reply, apparently only 
two of several letters, in Alvarado, Hist. Gal., MS., iv. 181-91; Vallejo, Hist. 
Cal., MS., iv. 145-64; M, Z>oc., MS., xxxiii. 259, 273. The padre is accused 
of not only having attacked the govt and incited discontent from his pulpit, 
but of sending a letter to P. Estenega which contained insults to Alvarado, 
and which was intentionally given a -wide circulation. He is also accused of 
having said that the gov. had orders from Mexico to restore the missions (the 
decree of Nov. 17th had been published, it seems, biit not sent officially to 
Cal. ), which were not obeyed. D. in reply denied that he had done any of the 
things charged, or anything more offensive than to protest against the grant- 
ing of mission ranchos, which he continues to do. Says he thought at first of 
reading the two letters from his pulpit, and then leaving the country; but in 
case of his departure there was danger of a popular tumult at Sta Bdrbara, 
such as had been threatened once before. Both letters are long, and both 
Alvarado and Vallejo accord them more space and comment than the subject 
seems to merit. 

^Sept. 10th, Alvarado to admin, of S. Luis Obispo. Bonilla, Doc, MS., 
10-11; Pico, Papeles, MS., 59; .S'. Luis Ob., Arch., MS., 4. Bonilla was the 
administrator, and the form of grant is given in the case of the neophyte 
Odon, wlio got 75 varas of land, the house occupied by him, a copper pot, and 
two troughs. The frxiit of certain trees on his land, however, was still to 
belong to the community. 

<=Nov. 24, 1842, A. to Valentm Cota. Cota, Doc, MS., 15-16; Ouerra, 
Doc, MS., v. 305-6. 


the annals of earlier times, but of rare occuri'ence in 
these years, was the promotion of a friar formerly of 
California, Padre Jos6 Bernardino de Jesus Perez, to 
be guardian of his college in Zacatecas/ 

Two current topics of some importance, closely con- 
nected with mission affairs and with each other, were 
the coming of the bishop and the fate of the pious 
fund. I have already recorded the appointment of 
Bishop Garcia Diego and his arrival at San Diego at 
the end of 1841. He had intended to establish his 
permanent residence at San Diego, but, owing mainly 
to the poverty of the mission establishment there, 
which he was authorized to appropriate to his epis- 
copal uses, he soon changed his plans. On January 
11th he arrived at Santa Barbara, where the mission 
was in a better state of preservation than elsewhere, 
where the people were somewhat famous for their re- 
ligious tendencies, and where he naturally determined 
to locate his episcopal see. He came up from San 
Diego on the Guipuzcoana, in company with the 
bridal party of the proprietor, Jos^ Antonio Aguirre. 
Alfred Robinson, who was an ej^e- witness, writes: 
"All was bustle; men, women, and children hastening 
to the beach, banners flying, drums beating, and sol- 
diers marching. The whole population of the place 
turned out to pay homage to this first bishop of Cali- 
fornia. At eleven o'clock the vessel anchored. He 
came on shore and was welcomed by the kneeling 
multitude. All received his benediction; all kissed 
the pontifical ring. The troops and civic authorities 
then escorted him to the house of Don Jose Antonio, 
where he dined. A carriage had been prepared for 
his Excellency, with several others occupied by the 
president and his friends. The females had formed 
with ornamented canes beautiful arches, through which 

'Perez elected Oct. 21st. Arch. OUspado, MS., G4. Bustamante, i7fe(. 
Sta Anna, 40-1, speaks of the reduced state of the other colleges; but says 
there were still plenty of American friars in that of Guadalupe de Zacatecas. 


the procession moved ; and as it marched along, the 
heavy artillery of the presidio continued to thunder 
forth its noisy welcome. At four o'clock the bishop 
was escorted to the mission, the enthusiastic inhabi- 
tants taking the horses from his carriage and dragging 
it themselves. Halting at a small bower on the road, 
he alighted, went into it, and put on his pontifical 
robes; then resuming his place in the carriage, he 
continued on, amidst the sound of music and the firing 
of guns, till he arrived at the church, where he ad- 
dressed the multitude that followed him."^ This is 
the only record extant of his reception, and the for- 
malities attending his assumption of the office; but 
Sir George Simpson visited him a few days later, and 
describes his gorgeous costume and magnificent sur- 
roundings, in marked contrast with the simplicity of 
the old padres.'' 

Bishop Francisco came provided with grand plans 
for his diocese, and with abundant means, on paper, 
for carrying theni out. He had from the national 
treasury a salary of $6,000; and he had the adminis- 
tration of the fondo piadoso, the large revenues of 
which he could use elastically in accordance with the 

^ I^obinson's Life in CaL, 195-8. 

" 'Articles of furniture that would not have disgraced a nobleman's man- 
sion occupied the floor. The carpet was the work of the Indians of Mexico; 
the table was covered with crimson veh'et, on which lay a pillow of the 
same material adorned with gold; and the sofa and chairs had seats of the 
same costly and showy description. But the gem of the whole was a throne 
with three steps in front of it. • It was hung with crimson velvet, which was 
profusely trimmed with tissue of gold; and its back displayed an expensively 
framed miniature of the reigning pope, painted by a princess, and sent by 
Gregory to the bishop, along with bis diamond ring, as a gift. ' Siinpson's 
Narr., i. 388-90. April 16th, John C. Jones writes to Larkin: 'We have 
nothing new here whatever; religion appears to be the order of the day; too 
nnich of it has made the people mad. The bishop rules triumphant, and the 
wretched priest-ridden dupes would lick the very dirt from off his slioes 
were he but to will it. For myself I am disgusted with his proceedings; if 
what is taught here is religion, the less we have of it the better; indeed, it is 
blasphemy. By the way, it is quite certain that his holiness wiU make this 
his place of residence, and here erect his college — tlie tenths will be paid by 
this good people with but few exceptions in preference — they unhesitatingly 
say — to all other demands. I am not certain that that will satisfy the rapa- 
cious appetites of these blood-sucking emissaries of the pope; they are all 
of the horse-leech family, whose cry is continually, "Give! give!"' Larkin's 
Doc, MS., i. 252. 


wishes of the founders, to say nothing of tithes and 
other contributions from his subjects. Before leaving 
Mexico he had received from a generous government 
all the concessions he desired.^" He was an enthusi- 
astic, pompous, kind-hearted, rather weak-headed old 
man, somewhat overweighted with the dignities of 
his new office; and he was delighted with his recep- 
tion at Santa Bdrbara, which pious town, in compli- 
ance with a formal petition from the citizens, he re- 
solved to honor by making it the site of his episcopal 
palace, cathedral, and seminary. We have not many 
details of his progress in 1842. Naturally it required 
a little time before funds should begin to come in reg- 
ularly from Mexico, and the machinery of tithe-gath- 
ering could be set properly in motion; moreover, it 
was deemed well to wait until the actual administra- 
tion should be succeeded by one more in sympathy 
with the bishop's plans than that of Alvarado was 
supposed, with much reason, to be;" but the Barba- 
reuos were liberal; the bishop readily obtained a con- 
cession of the mission buildings for present episcopal 

^"Nov. 7, 1840, bishop's petition, and decree of Nov. 17th, granting all that 
Vv-as asked. Hartman's Brief in Mission Cases, appen., 24-30; Hayes' Lefial 
Hist. ofS. Diego, MS., no. 57. Ho asked— 1. The delivery of mission houses 
and orchards to the padres, and permission to use that of S. Dieijo or S. Luis 
Eey for an episcopal house, etc., until suitable edifices could be built. 2. 
Indian laborers at an equitable salary; and land on which to build cathedral, 
house, aud seminary. 3. A notification to prevent the missionaries from 
leaving their posts until clergymen could be ohtained to fill their places. 4. 
Permission to take with him to Cal. such priests as might be willing to go. 
5. Authority to establish a board of missionaries with a view to the forma- 
tion of now missions; also the Island of Los Angeles or some other suitable 
tract for the missionary college. 6. Authority to foimd a college for females, 
and a corresponding tract of land. 7. Tithes to be paid to the church, and 
not as before to the govt of Sonora. 8. The prompt settlement of cei'tain 
claims which formed an intolerable burden on the pious fund. He desired 
permission to locate his edifices, ' or rather to form a settlement on a rancho 
situate in front of S. Diego; ' and he recommended the stationing there of a 
military force, and the opening of communication by land with Sonora! 

" In Guerra, Doc., MS., ii. 193, 1 have a petition, not dated, signed by 123 
residents, including 18 foreigners. In it the bishop is urged to fix his resi- 
dence at Sta Barbara. Simpson, Nan:, i. 388, says: ' In fact, all but the bet- 
ter classes were unfriendly to the bishop; the provincial authorities regarded 
him with an eye of jealousy as a creature and partisan of the central govern- 
ment; and the" mass of the people dreaded any symptom of the revival of a 
system whic!i had, in their opinion, sacrificed the temporal interests of the 
colonists to the spiritual welfare of the aborigines.' 


uses, together with a site for his proposed cathedral;^'^ 
and possibly a beginning was made before the end of 
the year. Robinson states that "large piles of stones 
were heaped up in several places for laying the foun- 
dations of the above-named edifices, . . . and there they 
will undoubtedly remain for some years, as monuments 
of the frailty of human speculations." It is said that 
Bishop Francisco carried some of these stones with 
his own hands, and that many of the fair and pious 
Barbareiias aided him in his task. It must be evident 
to the reader that the bishop's success was destined to 
depend entirely upon the receipt of funds from Mex- 
ico; and that, depending on Californian resources- 
alone, utter failure was a foregone conclusion. 

This matter of episcopal finances brings me to the 
cognate one of the pious fund and its administration ; 
though this is a subject respecting which I present in 
these chapters only a general statement. The law of 
1836 providing for a bishopic of the Californias had 
also given to the bishop the administration of the 
fund, the revenues of which were to be devoted to 
"its objects or other analogous ones, always respecting 
the wishes of the founders." Accordingly, when Garcia 
Diego had been consecrated, the fund was turned 
over to him by the junta that for years had managed 
it ; but the bishop, unable of course to attend person- 
all}^ to the administration from his distant home of 
the future, appointed Pedro Ramirez, a member of 
congress from Zacatecas, as his a.poderado, or agent, 
in Mexico, naming Miguel Belaunzaran to look after 
the countr}'' estates. Ramirez assumed the adminis- 
tration in November 1840, and held it until Febru- 
ary 1842. He found the fund burdened with a debt 
of $28,000, paying two per cent per month, which 

'- March 24, 1842, the hishop declares the altar of the hospicio at Sta 
BArbara privileged for 10 years. Arch. Uisiones, MS., i. 77. April 2oth, 
bishop to Alvarado, asking for buildings. June 21st, granted. Dept. Bee, 
MS., xii. 55, 58. July, land granted for a cathedral. Sta B. Arrh., MS., 39. 
See also Gleeson's JJUt. Caih. Church, ii. 1G9-73; Mofrcis, E.cploi:, i. 275. 


he succeeded in cancelling; he paid over $30,000 due 
on old drafts, of which $22,000 had been drawn by 
the friars of Alta California; and he also furnished 
the bishop a small amount with which to pay his 
travelling expenses, since the $3,000 assigned from 
the treasury could not be collected. There was a 
claim for some $400,000 pending against the estates 
from an ancient lawsuit not brought to a final conclu- 
sion in his time; but at the beginning of 1842 Rami- 
rez considered the fund in a condition to produce a 
yearly revenue of over $34,000. 

In February 1842 the ministro de hacienda asked 
Ramirez for $40,000 to relieve the national neces- 
sities, with which demand the apoderado refused to 
comply, alleging that there was no such amount 
available, and that he had no right thus to dispose 
of the fund. On February 8th a decree was issued 
repealing article 6 of the decree of 1836, and restor- 
ing the administration of the pious fund to the 
supreme government, on the plea that all the ob- 
jects of that fund were "of general interest and 
truly national," though the revenue of course must 
as before be devoted to its original object — the con- 
version and civilization of barbarians. On February 
21st General Gabriel Valencia was made administra- 
tor, with the same powers that had been conferred 
upon the junta in 1832; and to him, under protest, 
Ramirez delivered the estates. Of Valencia's brief 
administration we have few details; but he doubtless 
served the purpose for which he was appointed; and 
Santa Anna is supposed, as a salve to his conscience, 
to have spent a little of the money thus acquired in 
fitting out Micheltorena's valiant band of convicts, 
arguing that "in order that California may be cath- 
olic she must first exist" — Si paralogismo miserable for 
an atentado escandalosisimo, as it was pronounced by 
a prominent Mexican author. 

Soon, however, another step was taken in the same 
direction of spoliation; for on October 24th Santa 


Anna, anxious that the "beneficent and national ob- 
jects proposed by the founder" should be accom- 
plished, con toda exactitud, with a view "to save the 
expenses of administration and others that might 
arise," decreed that all the property of the fund 
should be incorporated into the national treasury; 
that all the estates should be sold for a capital sum 
represented by their products at six per cent; that 
the said rate should be paid regularly for the original 
objects of the fund; and that the tobacco revenue 
should be pledged for this payment. This decree also 
called out protests from the bishop's agent, to which 
no attention was paid; and before the end of the 
year the estates were sold — chiefly to the company 
that down to 1841 had farmed the tobacco monopoly. 
The exact price is not given; but according to the 
claims of the bishop's agents — Ramirez being suc- 
ceeded by Juan Rodriguez de San Miguel — for the 
promised revenues during the next few years, it must 
have been about $600,000. Besides this sum, it was 
claimed that in 1842 the treasury was indebted to 
the fmid to the amount of $1,075,182.25. Had this 
last measure been adopted in good faith by a respon- 
sible government, it would have been one of the wisest 
steps ever taken in connection with the subject; but 
down to 1845, and perhaps to the American conquest, 
the total amount of the pledged revenues actually 
paid was $1,183! The bishop's claim to the admin- 
istration of the fund was not very firmly rooted in 
law or justice; but if he could have handled the rev- 
enues he would at least have spent a part of them in 
California, and the Indians would have received the- 
oretically a small share of the benefits. In much 
later times an international commission has in its 
wisdom decided not only that Mexico must disgorge 
the plunder, but that the proceeds shall revert to the 
catholic church of California. Perhaps a very large 
part of the amount, when secured, will be devoted to 

Hist. Cal., Vol. IV. 22 


the welfare of the Indians in accordance with the 
'will of the founders.''^ 

The Indians, if we may credit Vallojo's report to 
the Mexican government, were in 1842 hostile and 
ready to overrun the department unless the military 
force should be increased ; or if we choose Alvarado's 
statement on the situation, they were all at peace and 
easily controlled by the existing force! I find in the 
records no definite evidence of serious hostilities. At 
San Diego in June the people were impelled by a 
rumored revolt of the Jacumehos to take the usual 
steps for defence, that is, to write about the advisa- 
bility of borrowing arms from Captain Fitch/* At 
Angeles about the same time there were fears of 
an attack from the distant Payuches and Amajavas; 
and Antonio Maria Lugo was authorized at his own 
request to make a raid, with results that do not ap- 
pear.'^ Farther north there was as usual an occa- 
sional sortie of citizen soldiers of the San Jose region 
after horse-thieves; and in June a plot was thought 
to be discovered on the part of the San Jos6 mission 
Indians and others to capture some of the leading 
citizens. The ringleader, Zenon, was sentenced to 
four months in the chain-gang. ^^ 

" All the documenta referred to and many more, with full comments on 
the topic of the pious fund in 1842-5, will be found in A'ara Miguel, Docume.i- 
ton relativon al Fondo Piadoso. Mexico, 1845, Svo, 60 p.; Id., fiegioido C'lia- 
derno de Intcresantes, Doc. Mexico, 1845, Svo, 32 p.; Id., Rcctificacioii de 
Graves Equicocaciones. Mexico, 1845, 8vo, 10 p. ; Escandon and liascon, Ob- 
servacioncs que los Aciuales Terceros Poseedores . . . hacen. Mexico, 1845, Svo, 
12 p.; Bustamanle, Hist. Sta Anna, 44-6, 267-70; Siglo, xix. 1842, no. 
134, 138, 146, 165, 393, etc.; Doyle's Brief Hist., passim; besides very many 
other references that need not be particularized here. According to Alva- 
rado. Hut. Cat., MS., iv. 64-5, and VaUejo, Hist. Cat, MS., iv. 90-6, one 
Josi5 Verdia, who had died at Monterey many years before, had left his prop- 
erty to the pious fund; but the effects had been burned by the authorities to 
prevent contagion. Bishop Garcia Diego brought the claim with him and 
tried to collect it, but met with no very marked success. 

"-S. Dieijo, Arch., MS., 2S7-S; Dept. St. Pap., Angeles. MS., vi. 125, 

"Los Angeles, Arch., MS., ii. 188-9, 224, 231-4; Dept. St. Pap., Angeles, 
MS., vi. 122. 

"S. Jose, Arch., MS., iii. 24-5; Monterey, Arch., MS., v. 18-19; SlaCruz, 
Arch., MS., 78; VaUejo, Doc, MS., xi. 225. Nov. 13, 1842, Alvarado says 


I present a list of thirty-eight vessels constituting 
the Californian fleet in 1842." Five of the number 

the Indians had taken advantage of the Jones affair of the 19th to retire to 
the woods and commit robberies. Castro, Doc, MS., i. 06. 

" See full list for 1841-5 at end of chap, xxiii., this vol. Vessels of 1842: 
Alert, Alex. Barclay (?), Barnstable, Bertha, and Jenny, Bolivar, California, 
California (schr), Catalina, Chaio, Clarita, Conatante, Cowlitz, Cyanc, Dale, 
Don Quixote, Eirneralda, Fama, Fernanda, Hongue (?), Index. Jos. Peahodij (?), 
Jdven Fanita, Jdven Guipuzcoana, Juan Josi, Julia Ann, Llama, Maryland, 
New Spri.ig, Palatina, Primavera, Belief, RepuUicano, Rosalind, Tassoj Trin- 
idad, Valleyfield (?), Yorktown, United States. 

The total of duties paid, according to the preceding list, was S67,3S2; but 
according to Hartnell, in Pico, Doc., MS., i. 85, and a report in Larlcin Off. Cor- 
resp. , MS. , ii. 37, 1 10, it was §73, 729. ' Derecho de paten tes de navegacion ' for 
national merchant vessels, $13. Mexico Mem. Hacienda, 1844, no. 19. Other 
minor items of small sums on various accounts. Id., no. 54, 64, 66, 71, 74. 
Balance in custom-house safe Dec. 1st, $0.50. Dept. St. Pap., Cust.-H., MS., 
v. [270-85]. 

Feb. 1st, Jos^ Castro to be paid his full salary, and not subjected to the 
pro rata of his company — this for his great services. Dept. Bee, MS., xiii. 2; 
Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Com. and Trms., MS., iv. 65-6. General remarks ou 
condition of the treasury, necessity for reforms, and the new expenses caused 
by Micheltorena's coming. Bandini, Hist. CaL, MS., 299-301; Id., Doc, 
MS., 143; Vallejo, Hist. Val., MS., iv. 313-14; Coronet, Cosas de CaL, MS., 
44-5; C'erruti's Ramblinrjs, MS., 187; Larkin's Off. Corresp., MS., ii. 37. 
Dec. 1st, pay of civil employes suspended to proxade for Micheltorena's men. 
Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Com. and Treas., MS., iv. 70. 

Miscellaneous commercial items of the year: Orders that no vessel be al- 
lowed to trade or to remain over 24 hours at any port without papers from 
Monterey. Piido, Doc, MS., i. 374; Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 254; Los Angi;- 
les. Arch., MS., ii. 241-2. Nov. 25th, order from Mexico that no foreign 
sugar must be admitted. Sup. Govt St. Pap., MS., xvii. 2. Barn-itable. 
fined for admitting a private person before the visit of the officers. Dept. St. 
Pap., Ben., ]VlS., iii. 13. BeldeutoLarkin on smuggling, July 30th. Larkin's 
Doc, MS., i. 293. A deduction in duties made for immediate payment. 
Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 11. Duties on otter-skins at 50 cts each paid by Isaac 
Sparks. Dept. St. Pap., Angeles, MS., vi. 115; vii. 16; S. Diego, Arch., MS., 
288. Whales taken in S. Diego Bay. Hayes' Emig. Notes, 43C. Exports of 
hides not over 60,000, yet there are 10 vessels now on the coast (.Jan. ) scram- 
bling for hides and tallow. Simpson's Narr. , i. 288-90. Lumber trade at Sta 
Cruz described in Beldea's Hist. Statement, MS., 31. A bad year for business. 
Larhin's Accounts, MS., v. fly-leaf. 

Pablo de la Guerra, acting administrator of customs in April. Dept. St. 
Pop., MS., XX. 27-8; fd.,S. Josi, v. 02. Castanares gives bond in Mexico, April. 
Dept. St. Pap., MS., i. 10; Castaiiares arrives at S. Diego in Sept., and re- 
ceives the office from Oslo Sept. 23d. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Cust.-H., MS., i. 
32; Valiejn, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 285. Oslo, Hist. Cal., MS., 422, speaks of the 
transfer of office to C. Vallejo, Cal., MS., iv. 293-5, says C. came with 
the expectation of making a fortune, but found the berth not a profitable 
one. Feb. 3d, in Mexico. The treasurer must give a bond of §2,000. Dept. 
St. Pap., Ben., MS., i. 6-7. January, appointment of celadores. Id., Ang., 
vi. 93. Nov. 11th, suspension of two minor officials by Alvarado. Id., Ben., 
ii. 37. Corps of revenue officers in December: Manuel Castaiiares, adminis- 
trator from March 8th, salary, §2,500; Pablo de la Guerra, oficial 1° from 1839, §1,750; Rafael Gonzalez, comandante de celadores, from March 
1837, $1,800; celadores, Benito Diaz, Rafael Estrada, Joaquin de la Torre, 
Antonio Osio, salary, $700; Francisco' Rico, clerk, §500; Atillan, coxswain, 
$300; a 2d coxswain, §210; 4 sailors, each, §180; Pedro Narvaez, captain of 
port, $1,000. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Cust.-H, MS., vi. 1-2. 


belonged to the Pacific squadron of the U. S. navy, 
and their presence on the coast was connected with 
the American 'invasion,' to which a chapter has 
been already devoted. Of the Mexican vessels, four, 
the GuipuzGoana, Clarita, Trinidad, and California, 
were detained for a brief period by the hostile men- 
of-war; while, on the other hand, the captain of the 
American Tasso was temporarily detained by patriotic 
Californians at San Pedro; and the captain of the Alert 
took part in the war by spiking the guns at San 
Diego, in self-protection. Three Mexican vessels, in- 
cluding the Chato and Republicano, came to bring 
the new governor with his convict army and muni- 
tions to make them efifective soldiers, the schooner 
California also aiding in this service. Of the remaining 
craft, only seven are shown by the records to have 
brought cargoes this year; and only nine paid duties 
or fines into the treasury. I find no evidence of the 
slightest effort to prevent the coasting trade by for- 
eign vessels, nor of any other changes in the methods 
of trade; thougli neither trade nor visits to other 
ports were permitted until the proper papers had 
been obtained at Monterey. I have joined to my list 
a few minor items on the trade of the year. A promi- 
nent merchant recorded it on his books as a year of 
very dull business; and what the merchants had to 
do to gain a living may be inferred from this extract 
of a letter from Josiah Belden to Thomas O. Larkin: 
"The two barrels of liquor you sent I believe the 
alcalde knows nothing about as yet, and I shall not let 
him know that I have it if I can help it. If he does, 
I think I can mix it up so as to make it pass for coun- 
try liquor"! 

Receipts at the custom-house this year amounted 
to $74,000, of which amount two ships from Boston, 
the California and Barnstable, paid over $50,000. 
This was a falling-off" of one third from the receipts of 
1841; while of course the coming of the batallon fijo 
caused an increase of expenditure. Micheltorena 


came provided with orders on the Mazatlau custom- 
house for $8,000 per month, in addition to Californian 
revenues; hut it does not clearly appear that one of 
his drafts was ever paid. His soldiers, however, in- 
troduced some peculiar methods of supplying them- 
selves with food and other needed articles, which per- 
haps went far to make up the deficits. The inhabi- 
tants did not approve the new methods, even preferring 
those practised in past years by the 'Monterey clique.' 
One of Alvarado's last official acts was to suspend the 
pay of all civil employes. Of course, and as usual, we 
have no definite accounts to show how the public 
money was expended; but as before, there was no 
complaint or controversy. Jose Abrego remained in 
charge of the comisaria; but Antonio Maria Oslo in 
September surrendered the administration of customs 
to Manuel Castanares. 

The year brought about ninety foreign visitors, in- 
cluding only prominent officers of the U. S. naval 
force; but only thirty-three of the number have a 
place in tlie appended list of pioneers,'^ and among 
those named, there are eight or ten respecting the 
exact date of whose arrival there is room for doubt. 
Lataillade and Teschemacher may be regarded as the 
men best known in later times; and of all the list, only 
three or four survived in 1884. Nearly all came, like 
those of former years, accidentally; for the overland 
immigration that had begun the year before was in 
1842 temporarily suspended. There had not passed 
sufficient time for people in the east to get reports 
from their friends of the Bartleson and Woi'kman 
parties, and to make their preparations. Some par- 
's Pioneers of 1S42: Alex. Bell, WmBenitz, Geo. Bingham, Fred. G. Ehuue, 
Adolf Bruheim, Peter Collins, Theodore Cordiia. Stephen Culverwell, Thos 
Cummins, John Evans, Ed A. Farwell, Joseph Flundin, Henry L. Ford (?), 
Alex. W. Frfere, Omnes Guy, James B. Hatch, Thos Hickman (?), James H. 
Jones, Louis Jordan, Ralph Kilburn (?), Cesario Lataillade, Francois Lepage, 
Rich. T. Maxwell, Wm Oliver, Geo. W. Ross (?), Rowan (?), Salines, Peter 
Schubert (?), Ed L. Stetson, Fred. H. Teschemacher, Jos. P. Thompson, Ed 
Vischer, and John Yates (?). 


ties, however, crossed to Oregon to come south in 
1843, as we shall see; but so far as California was 
concerned, the overland travel was the other way, for 
a part of the Bartleson company returned to the 
United States, some of them to remain there. Nine 
or ten men, under the command and guidance of 
Chiles and Hopper, started from Sutter's early in the 
spring, went up the San Joaquin Valley, through 
Walker Pass, and thence to N"ew Mexico, perhaps by 
the Wolfskin trail approximately, reaching Missouri 
in September. ^^ 

In a report of June 3d to the supreme government, 
Alvarado stated tliat at the end of January a party of 
two hundred persons, including forty foreigners, had 
arrived at Los Angeles from New Mexico. Their 
object had been not only to trade woollen goods for 
live-stock, as in the past, but to examine the country 
as a field for colonization, their former home being too 
much exposed to Apache raids. Most of them had 
gone back, many with the intention of bringing their 

" In Springer's list, Taylor^s Discov. and Founders, i. no. 7. p. 39, the 10 
men who returned are named as follows: Bartleson, Brolaski (probably an 
error), Chiles, Hopper, McDowell, Fatten, Rickman, Springer, and the two 
Waltons. He gives the route, however, as by Tejon Pass, Mary River, Fort 
Hall, Green River, and Sta ¥6. Hopper, Narrative, MS., 12-16, says there 
were 9 in the party; and Chiles, Visit to Cal., MS., 11-12, that there were 13. 
Marsh, Letter to Com. Jones, MS., p. 14, gives the number as 14; and BelJen, 
Hist. Statement, MS., 41, affirms that about half of Bartleson's company 
returned. Some of them, however, left Cal. by sea, and others went to 
Oregon the next year. 

Miscellaneous items of 1842: Jan., Prudon says 4 foreigners arrived at 
Stokes' house from N. Mexico. Affairs going from bad to worse. Vailejo, 
Doc., MS., xi. 12. Six Frenchmen on the southern frontier without passports. 
Dept. Bee, MS., xiii. 27; Dept. St. Pap., Hen. Pre/, y Jiizg., MS., iii. 101. 
Those who came last year — Workman party— show no disposition to settle, 
except two. Hequena, Doc, MS., 3-4. Fifty hunters under Smith reported at 
the Gila junction. Dept. Itec., MS., xiii. 17. August, Salvio Pacheco com- 
plains that the trappers, and also Sutter's men, steal his cattle, as he can 
prove. S. Jose, Arch., MS., iv. 9. Nov., a party of 7 Americans, including 
one family, has lately gone to settle in the northern part of the Sacramento 
Valley. Marsh's Letter, MS., 18. As early as 1842, Joseph Smith talked of 
colonizing Cal. with Mormons. Youn/j^i Wife JVo. 19, p. 58. June, condem- 
nation of Taggett to death, and of Richards to 10 years on Cliapala. Dept. St. 
Pap., Ang., MS., xii. 64-5, 102. The crew of the schr Califoriiia contained 
5 kanakas, 2 New Zealanders, and 2 Chilenos. Cooper, Lihrode Cuentas, MS., 
198. Daniel Sexton claims to have raised the U. S. flag at his camp north of 
Gorgonio pass, and to have celebrated July 4th for the benefit of the Indians. 
Frazee's S. Bernardino Co., 24. 


families.^' A few of the foreigners may have re- 
mained in CaUfornia, but nothing is known of them. 
The New Mexicans were under the connnand of 
Francisco E. Vigil ; they went back in several parties 
before the end of April, taking away about 5,000 head 
of horses and mules; and with one of the parties went 
John Rowland to bring his family and eftects for the 
new rancho which he and Workman had secured.-^ 
Toward the end of the year some twenty New Mexi- 
can families did return to settle permanently.^' 

The most prominent features of foreign relations 
having been disposed of in the chapter devoted to 
Jones' exploit at Monterey, it only remains for me to 
notice several narratives from foreign pens which be- 
long to this yea-r rather than to any other. The first 
of these — Simpson's Narrative and Mofras' Explora- 
tion, both pertaining to 1842 as well as to 1841, hav- 
ing received attention in the annals of the latter year 
— is Robinson's Life in California. Though not pub- 
lished until 1846, it belongs more properly to 1842, 
because it is mainly a record of personal experiences 
and observations wliich terminated in that year witli 
the author's departure. Alfred Robinson came from 
Boston as a clerk on the BrooUine in 1829. He bo- 
came the resident agent of Bryant & Sturgis, spent a 
large part of his time in travelling from port to port, 
engaged in exchanging the cargoes of the Boston ships 
for hides, married into one of the best Californian 
families, that of Captain Jose de la Guerra y Noriega, 
and, with the exception of one trip to the east, resided 
continuously on the coast for twelve years, until he 

2» June .3, 1842, A. to min of rel. Di-pt. Fee, MS., xiii. lG-18. 

^' Los Angeles, Arch., M.S., ii. 142-3, 157-8; Dept. Eec, MS., xiii 23; 
£>ept. at. Pap., Ang., MS., vi. 105-7, 115; vii. 54; xii. 59. 

■-Nov. 9th, arrival of 19 families announced. Dept. St. Pap., Aug., MS., 
vii. 23. Dec. 10th, Santiago Martinez, the coraandante, sends a list of those 
who have come to settle: list not given. Los Angeles, Arch., MS., ii. 350. 
Rolfe, in Frazre's S. Bernardiuo Co., p. 17, speaks oif the coming of these fam- 
ilies, who settled on a part of the Jurupa rancho. This was perhaps tlie 
Slover Mt colony mentioned in the annuls of 1841, there being very likely an 
error in the earlier date. Sec Hayes' Emig. Notes, 642-3. 


sailed on the Alert at the end of 1842. An intel- 
ligent and active man of business, acquainted with 
everybody and enjoying the respect of all, though not 
personally so popular as some others of the foreign 
traders, his opportunities for accurate observation were 
excellent. It does not appear, however, that he en- 
tertained the idea of writing a book; but during his 
residence he obtained from his father-in-law an inter- 
esting account of the Indians found among Padre Bos- 
cana's papers, of which he determined to publish a 
translation ; and he was induced, in view of California's 
increasing importance to eastern eyes, to extend his 
introduction to the translation as well as he could 
from memory and such memoranda as were available, 
including letters of as late date as 1844. The result 
was a most interesting narrative, the title of which, 
Life in California, is indicative of its contents. It 
is an agreeable presentment of personal experiences, 
mingled with glimpses of political history in 1829-42, 
combined with sketches of the country and its re- 
sources and its people, and including descriptions of 
most places, some of which are illustrated by the pen- 
cil of the author. Robinson wrote anonymously, rep- 
resented names without any good reasons by initials 
throughout the work, and of course fell into some er- 
rors in presenting details; but as a whole, the book is 
worthy of much praise, and can be unfavorably criti- 
cised only by comparing it with what the author with 
his advantages might have written had he undertaken 
the task in time. I have had frequent occasion to • 
cite this work, and from it as an authority Tuthill 
and other writers have drawn a very large portion of 
their information for the period it covers. Except 
the works of Dana and Forbes, Robinson's was prob- 
ably the best known source of information about Cal- 
ifornia down to the discovery of gold.-^ 

^' (Robinson) Life in California; during a residence of several years in that 
territory, comprising a description of the country and the missionary establish- 
ments, with incidents, observations, etc., etc. Illustrated with numerous engrav- 
ings. By an American. To which is annexed a historical account of the ori- 


Next a narrrative of the 'King's Orphan' demands 
attention. Bidwell, Sutter, Hastings, and others 
have mentioned the visit in 1842-3 of an educated 
Swedish gentleman known as Dr Sandels, of scien- 
tific antecedents and proclivities, who had lived in 
Brazil, lost a fortune by mining operations in Mexico, 
and who declared that there were indications of gold 
in the region of New Helvetia.^* The recollection of 
his presence was vague, and but for the mention of 
gold would perhaps have disappeared; but a manu- 
script signed 'King's Orphan' has come to light, which 
was doubtless the work of Sandels. It is a narrative 
of the author's voyage from Acapulco to Monterey 
and of his observations while travelling in California. 
There is a strong element of fiction in the production, 
or at least in some parts of it, intended apparently 
to enliven the story rather than to deceive the reader, 
and not perhaps affecting the value of the writer's 
observations on men and things in California, obser- 
vations which without containing anything especially 

gin, customs, and traditions of the Indians of Alta California. Translated 
from the original Spanish manuscript. New York, 1S46. 12mo, 226 p. (of 
Life in Cal.), and p. xii. 227-341 of translation. The illustrious are, Sta 
Barbara Town, Id. Presidio, Id. Mission, S. Luis Rey, S. Gabriel, S. Buena- 
ventura, Yerba Buena, portrait of P. Boscana, an Indian dressed in the 
'tobet.' Feb. 1, 1846, Robinson writes to Capt. Pitch, announcing the ap- 
pearance of his book, of which several copies are sent to California. Hopes 
F. will take no offence at the mention of his marriage adventure. Pitch, 
Doc, 5IS., 388. Alvarado and Vallejo, taking offence at some criticism of 
their mission policy, are disposed to criticise Robinson unfairly. Attached 
to the book, with distinct title but continuous paging, is: 

Boscana, Chinigchinich; a historical account oftlie origin, customs, and tra- 
ditions of the Indians at the missionary establishment of St. Juan Capistrano, 
Alta California; called the Acagchemem Nation; collected with the greatest care, 
from the most intelligent and best instructed in the matter. By the Reverend 
Father Friar Oermiimo Boscana, of the order of St Francisco, apostolic mis- 
sionary at said mission. Translated from the original Spanish manuscript, by 
one who was many years a resident of Alta California. New York, 1846. 
12mo, p. 226-341. The introduction is signed by the translator's initials 'A. 
R.' The original MS., from which the translation was made, remained in 
the possession of a branch of the Guerra family until a few years ago (about 
1878), when it was purchased for the collection of M. Pinart, of Paris, 
whither another copy in P. Boscana's handwriting had drifted before, as i C 
seems. I have also a few scraps of the work in the padre's hand. 

■'<-BidwelVs Cal. 1S41-S,US., 136; Yolo Co. Hist., 22; SuUerCo. Hist., 21; 
S. F. Alta, Jan. 28, 1878; Upham's Notes, 470; Hastings' Emig. Guide, 82. 
Sandels is also said to have made a map of Sheldon's rancho on the Cosum- 


new or important seem to bear the marks of intelli- 
gence and accuracy.^ Dr Sandels, several of whose 
original letters are in my Library, came from Aca- 
pulco to Monterey Avith Captain Cooper on the Cali- 
fornia, arriving at the end of September 1842.-" He 
visited San Francisco, San Jose, Sonoma, Ross, New 
Helvetia, and Santa Barbara; made an ascent of 
Momit Diablo; and being an artist, joined to his 
manuscript several pencil sketches of places seen. Of 
the chronology of his movements not much is known, 
except that his visit to Sonoma was in February or 
March 1843, and that he was at Santa Barbara in 
April.^'' In his letter to General Vallejo he described 
himself as 'physician, mining expert, and naturalist.' 
I have occasion to site elsewhere some of the 'Or- 
phan's' remarks on local and personal matters. In 
September he sailed on the Diamond for Honolulu." 

John Bidwell's pamphlet has already been noticed 
so far as it was a journal of his overland trip. It was 
a letter, dated at Bodega March 30, 1842, containing 
an abridgment of his journal. Twelve pages are de- 
voted to the author's hasty 'observations about the 

'^King's Orphan, Visit to California, 1842-3, MS., in possession of the 
'Assoc. Pioneers of Ter. Days of Cal.' in N. Y., said to have been found at 
N. Orleans before 184S. I have not seen the original, but a portion, includ- 
ing the voyage to Monterey, was published in the S. J. Pioneer, June-July, 
187S; another portion, including travels in the Sacramento Valley, in /(/., 
Jan. -Feb. 1S79; and a compilation from the part describing the country and 
visits to northern districts, in Upham's Notes, 537-C2, with cuts of San Fran- 
cisco and Fort Ross. The three parts form a scrap-book in my collection. 

Of the five autographs of this visitor iu my possession, three are appar- 
ently GmafSandels; one G M af Sandels; and one Gm Waseurtz af Sau dels. 
His name was therefore G. M. (or Gus. ) Waseurtz (or Warcurtz) af Sandels— 
'af ' being the Swedish form of 'von.' From the original MS. iu N. Y. the 
name was thought to be Mafs or Mass. 

''"In Larkin's, Doc., i. 330, is found his signature to an inventory of Lieut 
Sarmiento. All the names and most of the incidents given by the 'King's 
Orphan ' in connection with his voyage on the Sta Maria, Capt. Hatch, from 
Pananiii to Monterey, touching only at Acapulco, are fictitious. 

« Sandels' letters to Vallejo Feb. 23, Mar. 18, Apr. 8, 1843, in Vallejo, 
Doc, MS., .xi. .335, .341, 357. 

23 Aug. 28, 1843, Sandels' application for license to ship his luggage- 
books, mathematical and surgical instruments, natural history collections, 
Indian relics, etc. Pinto, Doc, ii. 20. Arrival at Honolulu in Oct. Friend, 
Oct. 1843. 


country,' which had been confined to Mission San 
Josd, Marsh's rancho, New Helvetia, Bodega, and 
Ross. "You will undoubtedly expect me to come out 
in plain language either for or against the country," 
he writes, ''but this I cannot do, not having been able 
to see as much of it as I intended before I wrote to 
to you. I have, however, been diligent in making 
inquiries of men who are residents in the country." 
Bidwell then proceeds to describe in succession the 
timber of California, its agricultural productions, cli- 
mate — -with a table showing the weather each day 
from November 4th to April 1st — its live-stock, prices, 
facilities for obtaining farms, and a great variety of 
such information as would be welcome to persons con- 
templating immigration. He says: "I have endeav- 
ored to state facts with impartiality. At least half of 
the company return this spring to the U. States, 
many of them well pleased with the country; and 
others so sick they cannot look at it. People gener- 
ally look on it as the garden of the world or the most 
desolate place of creation. Although the country is 
not what I expected, yet if it were not under the 
Mexican government I should be as willing here to 
spend the uncertain days of my life as elsewhere. It 
may be I shall as it is."'"' 

^Bvlwell, A Journey to Cnlifornia, n.p., n.d. (Weston, Mo. 1843 ?), 8vo, 
32 p. Preface: 'The publisher of this journal, being aware that a great many- 
persona in Missouri and other western states are at this time anxious to get 
correct information relative to Oregon and California, hopes in part to gratify 
them by giving publicity to these sheets through the press; having been so- 
licited to do so by men of information who have perused them in manuscript. 
The author, Mr jfohn Bidwell, a young man of good acquirements and unex- 
ceptionable moral character, came to Missouri from the Buckeye state about 
4 years ago, and resided in Platte Co. two years, during which time he made 
many stanch friends, and was prosperous in business. But the many in- 
ducements held forth to enterprising young men to go to California caused 
him to adopt the motto ' ' Wt-stward ho, " shoulder his rifle, and join one of the 
California companies which leave the rendezvous near Independence annually. 
Prior to his going he promised his friends to keep a journal, noticing the 
incidents of the trip, and also give his observations of the country after his 
arrival there. This promise he has redeemed by forwarding the publisher 
this copy of his journal. ' 

Some brief quotations from Bidwell's remarks: 'I know of but two Ameri- 
can families here, those of Kelsey and Joel Walker.' 'It is a proverb here, 
and I lind it a pretty true one, that a Spaniard will not d > anything whic'i 
he cannot do on horseback.' 'To obiaia a r;rant you must become a citizen 


Joliii Marsh, for six years a resident of the country, 
"complying with the request to be made acquainted with 
some of the most interesting facts relative to Califor- 
nia," wrote a letter to Commodore Jones on Novem- 
ber 25th of this year. The writer was an educated 
man, and his letter contains somewhat vivid pictures 
of Alvarado's rule, the Graham aifair, and such other 
prominent topics as are briefly considered. Marsh evi- 
dently deemed California a desirable acquisition for 
the United States, and devoted some space to the task 
of showing that communication by land with Oregon 
was much easier than had been represented. I have 
had occasion to cite this letter, which I believe has 
never been printed, on several points.^" Another sim- 
ilar letter was that written by Captain Henry A. Peirce 
to Thomas Cummins of Honolulu. It is dated Feb- 
ruary 1st, on board the brig Maryland, and contains 
a good description of the country's condition and pros- 
pects from the writer's observations during his late 
visit. The same man while in the east wrote a letter, 
which was published in the newspapers, upon the es- 
tablishment and possible future encroachments of the 
Hudson's Bay Company in California. There were 
few letters written by Americans in this part of the 
world at this period which did not allude more or less 

and a member of the catholic church. Whether persons of any other de- 
nomination would when piously disposed be interrupted by the law, I can't 
say, but think not.' 'All who would come to this country must bring pass- 
ports from the governors of their resident states.' 'Missions are nearly all 
broken up.' The people all object to the bishop remaining in the country, 
fearing they will have to pay tithes. ' The country is acknowledged by all 
to be extremely healthy. ' ' It is seldom a Spaniard makes a charge against a 
traveller for his hospitality; they are kind in this respect, but I can't say 
how^ much they p r. ' ' Capt. Sutter would give any information to emi- 
grants, and I believe render any assistance in his power. S. Jos6 would be 
another good place to arrive at. Mr Gulnac is noted for his kindness to 
strangers.' Finally, directions about the route are given, though 'there would 
be many advantages in coming by water,' the author advising the use of pack- 
animals instead of wagons. 

^° Litter of Dr John Marsh to Commodore Tliomas Ap Catesby Jones, con- 
taininri information on Califorma, MS., 19 p. Dated Nov. 25, 1842, at Farm 
of Puipones. This copy was made April 3, 1843, by Dr R. T. Maxwell, who 
kindly presented it to me. 


directly to the desirability of American, and the dan- 
ger of English, occupation.^^ 

Here may be mentioned the fact that Edward 
Vischer, who visited California in 1842 on the Califor- 
nia schooner, published in later years a series of photo- 
graphs from pencil sketches made by himself, with a 
jjamphlet of descriptive text, entitled Missions of Cal- 
ifornia; but it does not appear that any of the draw- 
ings were made at the time of his first visit, though 
doubtless his recollections of 1842 added to the value 
of both pictures and text. 

" Feb. 1, 1842, Peirce'a Latter to Cummins, MS., copy furnished for mj' use 
by the writer. May 1st, Peirce's letter on H. B. Co., in Niks' Eeg., Ixiii. 242, 
written in Boston. 




The Governor at Los Angeles— Financial TnouDLES — Warfare against 
Destitution — A Junta of Angelinos — Aid from Citizens, from Va- 


rena with his Batallon Comes to Monterey — Reception — Rumors 
OF Revolt— Graham's Offer— Junta of Officers at Monterey — 
Prefzctukes Suppressed — Absence of Records- Swearing of the 
Bases— Vote for Santa Anna — Junta Departamental — Elections — 
Castanares fob Congress — Indian Aftairs— Expedition to JIendo- 
ciso or Clear Lake — The Cholos at Angeles and Monterey — Exag- 
gerated Accusations. 

During the first half of 1843 Micheltorena re- 
mained at Los Angeles with his batallon fijo. He 
had assumed the civil government on the last day of 
1842, though holding the military command from an 
earlier period, and as general had rendered himself 
famous, or notorious, by his methods of conducting 
the country's defence when it was 'invaded' bj^ the 
Americans. His chief task during these months was 
to provide for the support of his men; and he waged 
continual warfare with as much energy as it was pos- 
sible for a man of his character to show, against utter 
destitution. He could not get from Mexico or Maza- 
tlan a cent of the money that had been promised; and 
the custom-house receipts, one third less for the 
v>'hole year than in 1842, were hardly anything at all 
in the earlier months of the year. Writing on April 
25th, Micheltorena rendered the following account of 
the treasury from September to date: "Entradas, 
$000; salidas, $000; existencias, cuatro reales;" this 


latter sum of fifty cents being the amount he had found 
in the treasury at his arrival. In March he repre- 
sented his men as living on six and a quarter cents 
per day, the officers receiving only one fifth of their 
pay; yet he looked forward to the time when he 
should get aid from Mexico, pay up all arrears, and 
convert his soldiers into farmers. These statements 
were made in connection with some of the governor's 
numerous appeals to Colonel Vallejo for aid.^ 

The records fail to show exactly how the troops 
were fed and clothed. The popular solution of the 
problem has always been that it was by stealing from 
the citizens; but I shall have more to say on that 
topic later. Micheltorena, by his gentlemanly man- 
ners, had made many personal friends in the south; 
and the more wealthy of the rancheros and traders 
doubtless contributed to his support. Vallejo cites a 
letter of Jose Antonio Carrillo, written in March, in 
which a junta of citizens is said to have been in ses- 
sion for three days to deliberate on ways and means 
after listening to a speech from the governor on the 
situation. A forced loan from merchants was pro- 
posed, but the proposition was not favorably received. 
The only result reached was that the gentlemen pres- 
ent decided to become responsible for the payment of 
Micheltorena's salary, for which purpose others out- 
side of Angeles were subsequently invited to contrib- 
ute.^ From Vallejo the governor received a schooner- 
load of provisions sent down from Petaluma on the 
California in June, with a certain amount of money. 

1 March 15, April 25, 1843, Micheltorena to V. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 
344, 365. Jan. 27th, M. to admin, of customs. The strictest economy is 
required. Creditors must submit to sacrifices as well as soldiers and officers. 
Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., iii. 32-3. March 15th, Abrego ordered to sus- 
pend all back pay until further instructions. Dept. Bee, MS., xiii. 43. 
March 30th, one third of the customs revenue to be paid over to the comisario, 
■with which to pay civil and military employi5s. One third of salaries to be 
paid; officers of the batallon will get one fourth, and their general nothing; 
judges of the tribunal must be content with their pro rata; Alvarado to get 
§1,300 on salary account, de pre/crencia. Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., iii. 34^5. 
123-5; Dept. Rer., MS., xiii. 48. 

'^ Vallejo, Doc. , MS. , i V. 349-52. The writer says that this meeting was 
secret, and not known to the public for several years. 


So far as public funds were concerned, the times were 
hard also on the northern frontier, though the crops 
had been much better than in the south. Vallejo, 
though repeatedly declaring that he could no longer 
support at his own expense the Sonoma garrison, was 
unable to resist Micheltorena's appeals, accompanied 
as they were by hints from southern men that he was 
under especial obligations to aid in the support of an 
officer whose coming had been so largely due to his 
influence ; but a motive still more potent in determin- 
ing the colonel's action was the acquisition of the 
Soscol rancho granted to him this year, and for which 
the supplies furnished for public needs to the amount 
of some $11,000 were to be regarded as the price.'' 
Another man who furnished aid to Micheltorena 
early in 1843, and received lands in payment, was 
Jose Y. Limantour, who had come to the coast as 
owner and supercargo of a Mexican vessel. What 
supplies were furnished and what lands granted, it is 
not easy — nor necessary here — to determine, so in- 
volved in later frauds and forgeries did the whole 
matter become; but that there was an actual trans- 
action by which Micheltorena obtained aid from Li- 
mantour, there is no reason to doubt.* 

3 March 15, 1843, M. to V., begging him to send back the Calif ornia with 
a load of provisions. No crops in the south except on irrigated lauds, and 
these devoured by hungry geese and crows! Vallejo, Doc, MS., si. 344. 
Voyage from Petaluma'to S. Pedro in June. Cooper's Lou of '^« Cat., MS. 
Much information about the supplies furnished by V. was brought out in the 
litigation of later years respecting the Soscol rancho. April 1st, V. to M. 
Has received no reply to his representations about the scarcity of supplies 
for the troops on the frontier and at S. F. If relief cannot be afforded, he 
will not be responsible for results, and asks to be relieved from his com- 
mand. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 355. May 19th, the comisario furnishes noth- 
ing, and V. cannot longer support the troops. Id., xi. 377. June ISth, a 
public meeting held at Sonoma to raise funds for support of the garrison and 
the erection of public buildings. The amount raised, the Vallejos being the 
largest subscribers, was .S3,0G3, besides 155 fan. grain, 20 head of cattle, 1,100 
feet boards, 12,700 adobes, and 22 laborers. Capt. Castaueda was this day 
sent as a messenger to the gov. to explain the absolute indigence of the gar- 
rison, hi., xi. 411-12. 

■■As another means of raising funds, on Jan. 2d Micheltorena orders the 
negotiation of a loan of .S10-12,600 ou future customs receipts, probably with- 
out success; though on Jan. lOtli CastaOares was thanked lor some ' generous 
oiler,' which was accepted. Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., iii. 2S-9, 


In connection with Micheltorena's appeals to Va- 
llejo for aid, there were some symptoms of a contro- 
versy between the two officers. Through Pablo de 
la Guerra in February, Vallejo heard a rumor that 
the governor had expressed doubts about the fact of 
his having supported the troops at his own expense, 
and an intention to remove him from his command of 
the northern line. The rumor was doubtless un- 
founded, and the colonel himself did not perhaps at- 
tach much importance to it; but he felt somewhat 
sore about his own instrumentality in having brought 
the general and his vagabonds to California, and there 
were many reasons why a grievance against him and 
a suspension of friendly relations were rather desirable 
than otherwise. Accordingly Vallejo, on the assump- 
tion that his word had been doubted and his honor 
offended, wrote some rather sharp letters to Michel- 
torena, enclosing proofs of his past expenditures in 
behalf of the troops, and a request to be relieved of 
his command. The general's reply was an assurance 
of his high personal and official esteem for Vallejo; a 
denial that he had ever doubted his word, or failed to 
appreciate his past sacrifices, which he hoped soon to 
repay; and an earnest request that he would not de- 
prive the country of his valuable services. It was 
wellnigh impossible to quarrel with such a man under 
such circumstances.^ 

Besides the labor of conducting his financial cam- 
paign, Micheltorena had other duties quite sufficient 
to occupy the spare time of an indolent ruler, who 
rarely made his appearance before noon, and had no 
fondness for office work at late hours. There was 
daily necessity to hear the complaints of citizens con- 
cerning the depredations of the cholo soldiers, and con- 
stant effort was required to maintain a semblance of 
military discipline in the batallon. Moreover, there 
was a variety of routine correspondence on minor 
matters requiring no special notice here, in which the 


general's secretaries required a certain amount of su- 
perintendence. Besides attending to the routine du- 
ties of his office, Micheltorena turned his attention to 
the mission problem, and after consultation with the 
friars, determined, rather wisely, as I shall explain 
more definitely in the next chapter, on a restoration of 
twelve missions to what was nominally the old system, 
a measure which was actually carried out. So much 
cannot be said of another scheme devised by him, that 
of establishing a newspaper at Monterey, in which 
citizens might read and criticise the acts of the gov- 
ernment in their behalf^ 

In midsummer Micheltorena left Los Angeles with 
his batallon, and came to live at the capital. There 
are no original records of his journey or of any cir- 
cumstances connected with it. There is indeed a 
notable absence from all archives, public. and private, 
of any kind of documents relating to the events of 
this period. Manj^ Californians remember the trans- 
fer, and all agree that the Angelinos were perfectly 
willing to part with their guests of a year. Los An- 
geles was willing now as never before to relinquish its 
claims to the honor of being the governor's residence, 
wishing its old rival joy in the acquisition; wdiile the 
cholos themselves, having stolen every eatable thing 
that the south afforded, were not sorry to transfer 
their industrial operations to new fields. All that is 
known about the date of Micheltorena's oomino' north 

* Micheltorena, Dic/est of Correspondence at Los Angeles, Feb. S2d to May 
SI, IS43, is a printed pamphlet of 7 pages, Svo, without imprint, doubtless 
printed in connection with some land case. It contains the purport of the 
(JO odd communications of the gov., chiefly on minor routine, from Dept. liec, 
JJS., xiii. 37-59. March loth, project of a 'pliego de imprenta.' Id.; and 
Sept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., iii. 33. May 1st, such a press of business in the 
secretary's office that a second clerk was appointed at |30 per month. Arce, 
Doc, MS., 16. May Gth, Micheltorena deprives lieutenants Maciel and Limon 
of their rank, sending them as 'paisanos ' to S. Diego. Savage, Doc, MS., iii. 
Co; Dept. Hec, MS., xiu. 53; S. Diego, Arch., MS., 295. May 20th, letter 
about a personal row between Sec. Arce and Lieut Somoza. Castro, Doc, MS., 
i. 107. 


is the facts that he was at Monterey on August 13th,'' 
and that on September 4th Vallejo wrote from So- 
noma to congratulate him on his safe arrival.^ It is 
said that the usual attentions were shown to the gov- 
ernor at different points on his journey ; that Manuel 
Castauares succeeded in raising among government 
employes and citizens sufficient money to properly _/es- 
tejar his Excellency, who made some glowing speeches 
on his projects for the country's welfare, both on the 
day of arrival and in the later national festivities 
of September 16th; and finally, that the soldiers be- 
gan their depredations with the least possible delay.® 
Thus the indications are that the people of Monterey 
entertained no very cordial feelings toward their new 
ruler and his men, their dislike being mainly of course 
for the cholos, of whose character they were not ig- 
norant; but for reasons that will be more apparent 
later, it is difficult to obtain information from impar- 
tial sources respecting the popular feeling. Mean- 
while the officers of the batallon, in accordance with 
a Mexican custom not known in California before this 
time I think, were quartered at the houses of citizens, 
a circumstance that did not tend to increase the pop- 
ularity of the new-comers.'" 

There are two or three circumstances that point 
rather vaguely to the existence at this time of cer- 
tain schemes of revolt. Hastings, who is far from 
good authority, saj^s: "The timorous movements of 
the governor, and especially the fact of his being un- 
willing to venture among the Californians without an 
armed force for his protection, created much dissatis- 
faction among them, which became so general at one 

'Aug. 13, 1S43, M. at Monterey writes to Larkin, uot however alluding 
in any way to his recent arrival. LarkMs Doc, MS., ii. 29. 

° Vallijo, Doc. , MS. , xi. 445-6. Salvador Vallejo was also sent down to greet 
Iiim, explain the state of all'airs on the frontier, and invite him to visit So- 

^Alvarado, Hist. Cal., MS., v. 20-1; Vallejo, Hist. Cat., MS., iv. 364-8; 
Serrano, Apuntes, MS., 7J)-S0. 

'" Aug. 28th, a custom-house celador claims exemption from the billeting 
of officers at his house. Castro, Due, MS., i. 109; Id., Jklacion, MS., 86. 


time that they determined to interpose their omnipo- 
tence to prevent his Excellency from marching his 
omnifarious troops to the seat of government. But 
before I left, his generalship was jsermitted to march 
northward, and was in full possession of the chief 
town, there to be seen marching and parading his 
cropped and branded troops about the streets with 
all imaginable pomposity."" This statement, though 
absurd in some respects — else it would hardly find a 
place in the work cited — may signify that the author 
had heard rumors of revolt from foreigners whom 
he met; for on August 14th Vallcjo announced his 
discovery that certain persons were plotting against 
the government. By his order some documents sup- 
posed to have a bearing on the subject were seized at 
San Jose on the person of Juan Padilla; but the 
purport of the discovery is not stated.^^ Captain Sut- 
ter, without giving exact dates, claims to have warned 
Micheltorena of impending danger long before the 
revolution broke out. And finally, in August or Sep- 
tember, Isaac Graham oflfered to the governor the ser- 
vices of himself and forty other foreigners living in 
the vicinity of Santa Cruz, doing this presumably iu 
the hope of getting a blow at his old foes, Alvarado 
and Castro, in the troubles supposed to be brewing. 
But seven of the foreigners protested that they had 
given Graham no authority to act for them, and that 
their only desire was to live in quiet, without being 
drawn into trouble by that "seditious evil-doer and 
pernicious disturber of the peace." Micheltorena's 
reply was that California was at peace, and his force 
amply sufficient. If the services of foreigners should 
be needed, they would be notified in writing through 
the proper authorities.^^ 

Financial diflSculties were not greatly modified in 

^' Hastinrjs' Emig. Ouide, 121-2. 

"Aug. l'4th, 19th, V. to com. of S. Jos6, and reply. Vallejo, Doc, MS., 
xi. 442, 444. 

" Sept. 28th, Weeks, Morris, Majors, Barton, Sweet, Heath, and Buckle 
ta Micheltoicna. Oct. 7th, M.'a ropiy. «a Cruz, Arcli., MS., 01-3. 

JUNTA EC05f6MICA. 357 

kind or degree by the governor's change of residence. 
A reduction of expenses or an increase of revenue 
was a matter of urgent necessity, and the 9tli of Oc- 
tober a junta of officials was held at the governor's 
house to devise means of relief.^* Micheltorena pre- 
sided, and explained the object of the meeting in an 
opening speech; after which Vallejo was chosen sec- 
retary, and the first session was terminated b\^ the 
appointment of a committee of seven to report in four 
days.'^ At the session of the 13th a report was pre- 
sented, discussed, and adopted, in substance as fol- 
lows: The justices and secretary of the supreme court 
to receive each a salary of $1,200; the government 
secretary to have §1,200, with a clerk at $500; the 
offices of prefects and sub-prefects to be abolished; 
$1,200 to be paid to the principal of the school at 
Monterey, books and paper being furnished b}^ the 
scliolars, but in other towns schools were to be sup- 
ported by the municipalities with contributions from 
citizens; the comisario to be replaced by a treasurer 
at a salary of $1,000 (or $1,500); alcaldes and justices 
of the peace, being entitled to fees as judges of first 
instance, not to receive the allowance of $30 per 
month; and finally, the administrator and chief clerk 
of the custom-house to receive the same salary as be- 
fore, though the latter's additional pay as interpreter 
was to be reduced by one half. After thanking the 
members for the reduction of $20,000 effected in the 
civil budget, and promising his best efforts to bring- 
about a corresponding reduction in military expenses, 
Micheltorena declared the junta at an end.^® 

'*Tlie officers present were Gen. Jos6 M. Micheltorena; colonels M. G. 
Vallejo and J. B. Alvarado; lieut-colonels Rafael Tellez and Jos6 Castro; 
captains Juan Abella and Francisco Noriega; chief of artillery, Capt. Mariano 
Silva; captain of the port, Pedro Narvaez; comandante of the presidial com- 
pany, Capt. Nicanor Estrada; governor's sec, Manuel Jimerio; president of 
the tribunal, Juan Malarin; prefect of 1st district, Ramon Estrada; admin- 
istrator of customs, Manuel Castanares; vista, Pablo de la Guerra; comisario, 
Jos(5 Abrego; and Rafael Gonzalez, comandante of celadores. 

'^Members of the committee: Gistauares, TeUez, Vallejo, Malarin, Abre^io, 
Alvarado, and Jimeno. 

^^ Junta Consultativa y Econdmka en Monterey, Octubre de JS4J, MS. 


Besides the fragmentary blotters preserved by the 
secretary of this meeting, I find no other contempo- 
rary record on the subject until January 1, 1844, on 
which date Micheltorena issued a proclamation carry- 
ing into effect the economical measures recommended 
by the junta. By this proclamation the governor's 
salary was stopped ; three of the five judgeships of the 
ti'ibunal were suppressed; some other minor changes 
were introduced beyond those suggested in October; 
and some military salaries were saved. The saving in 
the civil budget amounted to $34,350; and in the mil- 
itary to $5,042, by stopping the pay of auxiliary ofii- 
cers, of the general's secretary, and of the surgeon. 
By a regulation that officers for the present must be 
content with half-pay, a further temporary saving of 
over $10,000 was effected.^' On November 14th an 
order was issued for an election, to be held in Decem- 
ber, of ayuntamientos and alcaldes to serve from the 
beginning of 1844. In this order the suppression of 
the prefectures was incidentally alluded to, and the 
first alcalde in each place was instructed to perform 
the duties both of prefect and judge of first instance.^' 

Tl»ese are blotters and fragments preserved by Vallejo, the secretary, some 
parts being in duplicate, and the whole perhaps not quite complete. There 
were perhaps other sessions, as on Oct. 10th Micheltorena writes to Larkin 
that there will be a meeting at his house to-morrow at 4 P. M. to consider t'.ie 
matter of smuggling, trade by whalers, etc. Larkin's Doc, MS., ii. 43. The 
junta is briefly mentioned in Botello, Anodes, MS., 108-9; and Amador, 
Mcmorias, MS., 152-3. Vallejo, Hist. Ccd., MS., iv. 379-82, gives some de- 
tails — as to the accuracy of which I express no opinion — about the junta, not 
included in the original record. At the first meeting after the gov. had made 
his opening speech and left the room, Prudon submitted a proposition that 
the batallon be sent to Sonoma, where they could be fed and put to work. 
The oflicers of the batallon protested that it would be derogatory to their dig- 
nity even to consider such a proposition ; and the Californians left the hall ia 
disgust. At a second meeting Vallejo himself urged the sending of the army 
to the northern frontier, where he could supply them with plenty of meat and 
com, but no money or liquor. Micheltorena was inclined to think favorably 
of the plan, but the Mexican officers began to bluster as before. Alvarado 
made a speech, in which he declared that it was useless to talk of effecting 
reforms so long as the defence of Calif omian homes and families was confided 
to convicts, and the junta broke up without accomplishing anything in the 
only dii-ection which might have afforded relief and prevented revolution. 

'' Mkhellorena, Bando Econdmico, 1 de Enero, 1S44, MS. 

'^Nov. 14, 1843, Micholtorena's proclamation on local elections. Castro, 
Doc, MS., i. 117-18; S. Die'/o, Arch., MS., 297-8; Dept. St. Pap., Ami., 
MS., X. 31; Micheltorena: s Admin., lC-17; Dwinelle's Colon. Hist., add., 84^5. 
At Aiigeles and Monterey the ayunt. was to consist of two alcaldes, four 

A NEW OATH. 359 

This important change in local government has left 
but little trace in the archives for the period during 
which it was in operation, from January 1844 to July 
1845, beyond an occasional and incidental allusion to 
alcaldes instead of prefects. 

Indeed, from the middle of 1843 the chain of archive 
evidence is in certain respects extremely incomplete 
in comparison to that of earlier years. It would al- 
most seem that there had been a deliberate effort to 
destroy or conceal documents relating to the governor's 
acts in these years, for their absence is nearly as 
marked in private and local archives as in those of the 
department. It is not unlikely that the researches of 
later years in connection with land litigation may 
have had something to do with the disappearance of 
these papers. 

In obedience to instructions from Mexico — whence 
no less than sixty coins were sent, or at least prom- 
ised, for distribution to the crowds! — Micheltorena in 
September and October ordered a public and ceremo- 
nial swearing of allegiance to the new constitution, 
the bases orgdnicas of the republic. The prefect or 
other chief local authority was to march through the 
streets with a military escort, amid ringing of bells 
and with all practicable pomp, before taking the oath 
of public employes and citizens. The oath was taken 
at Los Angeles October 15th; at San Diego the 29th; 
and at Sonoma late in December, "not as a mere for- 
mality of law, but because the bases promise a future 
of peace and prosperity," as the comandante wrote. 
Few people in California knew or cared to know any- 
thing about the bases de Tacubaya; yet all the same 
the oath was doubtless taken at every town.^'' 

regidores, and a srndico. At S. Diego, Sta Barbara, S. Juan (Bautista), Bran- 
ciforte, S. Jose, S. F., and Sonoma two alcaldes were to be chosen. The pri- 
mary election to be held on the second Sunday in Dec. , and the secondary on 
the following Friday. Nov. 13th, the junta departamental had iixed the num- 
ber of alcaldes, etc. Leu. liec, MS., iv. 13. 

'"June 17, 1843, Bocanegra to gov. , promising coins. Sup. Govt St. Pup., 
MS., xvii. 2. Sept. 2Sth, Micheltorena to prefect. I)ept. St. Pap., Avj., MS., 


Not only did California swear to the bases, but on 
Xovember 1st, through her junta departamental, as- 
sembled in extra session at the capital and desirous 
of expressing its obligations "to the illustrious author 
of the nation's regeneration as a reward of his civic 
virtues and heroic deeds," she cast her vote with ab- 
solute unanimity for General Don Antonio Lopez de 
Santa Anna, benemerito de la patria, for president.^" 
At the beginning of the year an order had been cir- 
culated to the effect that until the national organiza- 
tion could be perfected, all officials, including judges 
and members of the junta, should continue in the ex- 
ercise of their functions.-^ The old junta, composed 
of Jimeno, Castro, Estrada, and Gonzalez, or those 
members who could most conveniently be assembled 
at Monterey, held two extra sessions this year. One 
was on November 1st, when the vote of the depart- 
ment was cast for Santa Anna, and the other on the 
13th, when it met to determine the number of mem- 
bers to be chosen for the new junta, as well as for the 
different ayuntamientos.^^ Meanwhile Micheltorena 
had ordered an election to take place in accordance 
with the Mexican law of June 19th, though at a later 
date than was prescribed by that law.-^ The primary 
election was to beheld on October 22d; the second- 
ary on the 29th; and the electors were to be at 

xii. 72. Oct. 3d, M. to V. Vallrjo, Doc, MS., xi. 459. Jan. 1st, reply. Id., 
xii. 2. Swearing at Angeles. Dcpt. St. Pap., Ben. Pre/, y Juzg., MS., iii. 
114. At S. Diego, Haye-'i' Doc, MS., 170. The friars take the oath. Arch., 
Arzoh., MS., v. pt ii. 35, etc. 

''"Session of Nov. 1st. Leg. Rec, MS., iv. 12. Nov. 4th, Micheltorena's 
proclamation announcing the vote. S. Diego, Arch., MS., 299; Vallcjo, Doc, 
MS., xi. 468; Micheltorena's Administration, 15. VaUejo, Bist. Cat, MS., 
iv. 374-6, says that this vote did not represent the popular opinion. 

*' Jan. 24th, 27th, Jimeno to prefect. Micheltorena's Admin., 11-12. Jan. 
27th, gov. says his affairs are so urgent as to prevent his attendance at ses- 
sions of the junta at present. Dept. St. Pap., Ang., MS., xii. 98. Feb. 2d, pay 
of sec. of junta to continue. Id., Ben., iii. 119-20. Feb. 4th, 20th, all last 
year's judges to hold over. /(/., A7ig., xii. 70-1; S. Jos6, Arclu, MS., ii. 29. 

•■i2Z/fj7.5?cc., MS.,iv. 12-13. 

^'Sept. 28, 1840, M.'s election proclamation. Monterey, Arch., MS., xi. 
11; Castro, Doc, MS.,i. 112-13; Micheltorena's Admin., 13-14; Mexico, Rrgla- 
mento de Elecciones, 19 de Junio, 1S43, MS. By the terms of this law, the 
primary election was to be held the 2d Sunday in August, and the electoral 
college to meet at the capital on the last Sunday in September. 


Monterey as early as November 15th.''* Having at- 
tended to the usual preliminaries in the sessions of 
November 16th-l7th, on the 19th the electors voted 
for a deputy to congress, to fill the place of Andres 
Castillero, of whose services for California during his 
term of office I know nothing. The choice fell upon 
Manuel Castanares, a Mexican, who desired the posi- 
tion, and was favored by the governor. Antonio M. 
Oslo was elected suplente.^* Next day, the 20th, 
seven vocales were chosen to compose the new junta, 
as follows: Pio Pico, Francisco Figueroa, Narciso 
Botello, Francisco de la Guerra, David Spence, Ra- 
mon Estrada, and Estevan Munras, with the same 
number of substitutes. It is to noted that though 
the name of junta was still retained in California, the 
term asamhlea, or assembly, was used in the bases 

Indian horse-thieves were still troublesome in Cen- 
tral California. In June various citizens of the 
Monterey district sent a petition to Micheltorena, re- 
lating their troubles of past years, and stating that 
they would soon be obliged to abandon their rauchos, 
as no majordomos could be found to take charge of 
them, so great was the insecurity of life. The Ind- 
ians came to the very town to commit robberies. 
Complaints had been made to the authorities, and 
some expeditions had been sent out, but they had 
never accomplished anything, and had generally failed 

" The electors chosen were Joaquin Ortega for S. Diego, Ignacio del Valle 
for Sta Bdrbara, Ignacio Palomares for Angeles, Jos6 F. Buelna for S. .Tosi5, 
Manuel Castanares for Monterey, and Ignacio Peralta for S. F. Le<t. Hec, 
MS., iv. 9-11, 13; Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxx. 364; Dept. St. Pap., MS., v. 

"' Castaiiares doubtless sailed with Capt. Cooper on the California, which 
left Monterey Dec. 10th. He took with him a power of attorney to collect 
$1,002 due his brother, Jos6 Maria, for salary as supreme court judge. £0- 
nilla. Doc, MS., 14-15. 

'^Mexico, Bases Orgdnicas, IS4S. The suplentes were: CArlos Carrillo, 
Antonio Suuol, Juan il. Anzar, Salvio Pacheco, JosiS Castro, Ignacio Peralta, 
and Ignacio del Valle. Letj. Itec, MS., iv. 14-16. Nov. 2-2d, Micheltorena 
proclaims the result of both elections. 8. Diego, Arch., MS., 300; Dep. at. 
Pap., Aug., MS., x. 32; Micheltorena' s Admin., 18. 


to return the horses and saddles furnished by the 
rancheros. Sometimes the latter had carried thieves 
to jail, but they had been set at liberty without pun- 
ishment, and robbers de razon were almost as trouble- 
some as the Indians. This petition having been 
forwarded by the governor to the comandante of the 
northern line, the latter sent out several expeditions, of 
which we have no details.-'' This was early in the 
year; but it does not appear that the soldiers of the 
batallon after they came north ever performed any 
service against the Indians. In the south, however, 
no hostilities are reported this year, and perhaps this 
fact should be attributed to the presence of the 

One expedition of this year from Sonoma consisted 
of seventy Californians and two hundred auxiliary 
Indians, under the command of Captain Salvador 
Vallejo, starting March 5th and returning the 27th. 
On the evening of the 12th a fight took place on an 
island, where one hundred and seventy Indians were 
killed. According to the official reports the object of 
the expedition was to punish several tribes who had 
been plotting against the white people; the island 
where the fight occuried was represented as in the 
ocean near Cape Mendocino. It seems to have been 
in connection with this campaign that a negro deserter 
from the Cyane was killed while resisting capture.-' 

"June 4th, petition of citizens of S. 3os6. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xxxiii. 343; 
Id., Hist. Cal., MS., iv. 357-00. Jan. 26th, gov. orders presidial company 
to be reorganized, and a detachment to be stationed at Pacheco's rancho, 
the ranchei-os being invited to share iu the expense. Dept. St. Pap., Ben., 
MS., iii. 3L March 14th, Manuel Larios writes to Castro that the campaign 
against the Chuciles amounted to nothiug. <S'. Josi, Arch., MS., ii. 6. April 
12th, Jos(5 Castro wants §300 for having maintained an armed force in the 
sierra for two months past. Dept. St. Pap., Ben. Oust. -II. ,i.lS., v. 10. Doc. 
8th, citizens of S. JoscS petition the gov. for a pennancnt detachment of troops, 
for the support of which they will contribute. Pico, Doc, MS., i. 89. 

25 March 13, 1S43, Salvador Vallejo from Mendocino to M. G. Vallejo, 
describing the fight of last evening from 8 to 11 P. II. on the largo island of 
Jloth, which was reached by 12 soldiers and 30 auxiliaries by means of rafts. 
The Indians refused to give up their weapons, and seemed treacherous; there- 
fore they were attacked. Lieut A. M. Pico commanded the force on the 
mainland. Vallejo, Doc, MS., xi. 342. Api'il 1st, Col. Vallejo's report to 
gov. The Ind. against whom the expedition was sent were the Mottiyomi, 


Dr Sandcls was at Sonoma when this party returned; 
and he represents the outrage to have been committed 
on a tribe on an island in the northern part of San 
Francisco Bay, in the absence of all the fighting men, 
the provocation being a threat to steal the settlers' 
cattle. The negro deserter was found hidden here, 
proclaimed a foe to Mexico, and shot in the back.-' 
Juan Bojorges, one of Vallejo's party, gives many de- 
tails of the raid, and says its object from the first was 
to obtain Indian laborers and servants, of whom a 
large number were obtained from another rancheria. 
He says the battle was on an island in a laguna 
grande, where none but the guide had ever been,^' 
and I have no doubt that Clear Lake, and not the 
ocean or bay, was the scene of this massacre.^^ An 
investigation was ordered, but the result is not known. 
Salvador Vallejo in such distant raids committed 
many barbarous acts; but an outrage so gross as this 
is represented to have been would hardly have been 
excused by his brother. 

I have had frequent occasion already to mention 
Micheltorena's soldiers, the cholos, as they were com- 
monly called by Californians, and in no complimentary 
manner. Their character and acts, however, had so 
important an influence in bringing on the revolution 
of the next year, that it is necessary to present the 
subject somewhat fully here. The reader is aware 
that the batallon fijo was composed chiefly of crim- 
inals, a large part of them having been taken from 

Cliiliyomi, Holiyomi, Tuliyomi, Supuyomi, Paguenjelayomi, Sicomyomi, 
Hayomi, and Clustinomayomi. Snow-storms and the large numbers and 
threatening attitude of the Indians made it imprudent to continue hostilities 
the next day. Some prisoners were brought back. Id., xi.354. On the kill- 
ing of the negro. Id., xi. 3G1. April 26th, gov. to V. Says the pubUo mind 
is troubled about the killing of so many Indians; and he o/dera a strict inves- 
tigation. Id., xi. 306. 

"^King's Orphan's Visit, 7-8. 

^^ Bojonjes, Recuerdos, MS., 21-37. 

^' Davis, Glimpses, MS. , 290, mentions the affair as having occurred in the 
Clear Lake region, and as having been regarded at S. F. as a brutal outrage. 
But he makes the date 1841. 


the jails of Mexico and Jalisco, where the rest of them 
might also have been confined without much injus- 
tice. That such men would prove useless as soldiers, 
and intolerably vicious as citizens, was to be expected. 
The sending of such a band of convicts was an outrage 
amply sufficient to justify i-evolution. Yet it must be 
admitted that the conduct of the cholos in California, 
though not exemplary, was wonderfully good when 
compared with what might be expected from their 
vicious antecedents, from the outrages committed by 
men of similar class in difierent parts of Mexico, from 
their destitute condition, and from the bitterly preju- 
diced medium through which nearly all the testimony 
extant against them has come down to us. It would 
be easy to fill a long chapter with this testimony; but 
I content myself with comparatively few citations.^^ 

^■^ Serrano, Apuiites, MS., 84-90, says that Lieut Marquez was clearly im- 
plicated as an accomplice of Juaua Hernandez iu poisoning her husband ; but 
was punished only by being sent to Sta Barbara. He also describes a noisy 
demonstration by the cholos under Capt. Mejia one night at Monterey. j\lay 
1843, Lieut Maciel and Limon suspended and sent to S. Diego. Sava;ie, Doc, 
MS., iii. 05. Nov. 1S44, a servant of Larkia assaulted, wounded, and robbed 
by a soldier; but the culprit was kept in irons for 3 months. Larkli's Off. 
Corresp., MS., i. 20. Torre, liemin., MS., 106-9, relates a beastly outrage 
by a party of soldiers on a drunken Indian woman in the streets of Monterey. 
Swan, Hist. S!celche-% MS., 2, notes the stealing of all the contents of JosiS 
Castro's kitchen. Arnaz, Hecuerdos, MS., 33-G, 56-61, relates several in- 
stances of robbery, his own store being robbed twice. 

Pierre Atillan, a and patron of the custom-house boat at Mon- 
terey, was terribly cut and crippled for life on March 15, 1844, by a party of 
soldiers to whom he had refused aguardiente. The victim received a pension 
from the Mexican govt until 1846, and from the U. S. for a few years later, 
when it was stopped, most unjustly as the Californians think. Unbound Doc, 
MS., 287-9; C^istailarcs, Col. Doc, 17-18; 31st cong., 1st sess., H. Ex. Doc, 
17, p. 320; VciUejo, Hist. C'al., MS., iv. 368-72; Alvarado, Hist. Cat., MS., v. 
42-8. The crew of a French whaler in 1844 are said to have had a fight with 
a party of the cholos, in which several were badly wounded on both sides, 
one or two of the soldiers perhaps mortally, though there is no agreement 
about details. Osio, Hist. Cat., MS., 439-42; Gomez, Lo que Sahe, MS., 347- 
52; Ezquer, Mcmoria, MS., 17; Swans Hist. Sketches, MS., 2. Swan, Monte- 
rey in ^43, also speaks of a fight in which the soldiers were badly beaten by 
the men of the English man-of-war Carysfort. 

Mrs Ord, Ocurrencias, MS., 125, 131-4, records two robberies in her own 
house, one of cooking utensils by the soldiers, and the other of a portfolio ia 
Pablo de la Guerra's office, which was supposed to contain gold coin. Cap 
tains Noriega and Segura are accused of having been the chief culprits iu this 
affair. Coronel, Coscui de C'al., MS., 46-54, tells of some minor depredations 
which came under his own observation as judge at Los Angeles, incluiliag a 
description of the cholos' methods of catching fowl by means of lines baited 
with corn. Botello, Analcs, JIS., 106-7, .iffirms that the soldiers were en- 
couraged in their thefts by many of the officers. He says one of the thieves 


There is great unanimity of testimony from all 
sources that members of the batallon were, both at 
Los Angeles and Monterey, addicted to pett}^ thefts 
of poultry and other edibles, as well as of other miscel- 
laneous articles that could be utilized in barracks; so 
much so as to become an intolerable nuisance to all 
citizens whose houses, stores, or ranchos were within 
reach of the marauders. This is about the sum and 
substance of all that can be said against the cholos; 

was shot while entering Orena's store at Angeles. See also the following au- 
thorities, all in condemnation of the cholos as intolerable thieves and broilers: 
Osio, Hist. Gal., MS., 433-40; Alvarado, Hist. CaJ., MS., iv. 9; v. 20-2. 33- 
4S; Vcdlejo, Hist. Cat., MS., 266-8, 3G0-1, 376-7; Arce, iMem., MS., 31-0; 
Gomez, LoqueSabe, MS., 341-63; Torres, Peripeeias, MS., 90; Castro, Uda- 
cion, MS., 89-93; Oalindo, Apuntes, MS., 48; Vcdlejo {J. J.], r.emin., US., 
163; Ezquer, Mem., MS., 16-17; Larios, Convalsiones, MS., 17; Hastini/s' 
Emig. Guide, 121-2; Beldeu's Hist. Statement, MS., 40-1; Forster's Hist. Data, 
MS., 23-4; Streeter's Recoil, MS., 51; Wood's Wandering Sketches, 238. 

Bandini, Hist. Col., MS., 101-2, states that he and others often talked 
with Micheltorena on the outrageous conduct of his troops; but M. was 
afraid, not only of his own men, but of the Californians, if he should disarm or 
get rid of his batallon. Pinto, ApiuitacioncK, MS., 84-85, affirms that M. 
sometimes ordered se\-ere punishments, but they were i-arely enforced, most 
of the officers favoring the culprits. Coronel, Cosas de Cal, MS., 53-4, says 
that ia private conversations with him M. often lamented the conduct of his 
men, which he could not control, but which he felt would surely defeat all his 
cfiforts for the welfare of Cal. Spence, IJist. Notes, MS., p. 20, blames M. for 
not having sent away his convicts as be was often urged to do. 

In his letter of Dec. 12, 1844, to the sup. govt, while admitting that his 
men had originally been malefactors, M. claimed so well to h.ive controlled 
them that not a murder, nor rape, nor serious robbery had been comndtted; 
tb<*400 minor thefts complained of did not amount to over §500; and soldiers 
had repeatedly been punished with from 200 to GOO blows. Castailares, Col. 
Doc, 58-9. Thos 0. Larkin in 1845 stated that so far as be knew, robbery 
had been neither more nor less prevalent in 1843^ than in previous years. He 
had known of but one instance of a person being wounded, in which ease the 
offender had been promptly arrested; and he had once been called upon as 
U. S. consul to queU a disturbance between the soldiers and some American 
and French sailors. Larldn's Hoc, MS., iii. 271. Alvarado, Hid. Cal., MS., 
V. 37-41, charges Larkin with having deliberately misrepresented this matter 
on account of liis business relations with M., being perfectly aware of the eou- 
tiuual outrages committed. Bidwell, Cal. in IS4I-S, MS., 119-20, who was 
among M.'s soldiers for two months, docs not think they deserve to be called 
conxncts or thieves. Davis, Glimpses of the Past, MS., 127-9, who was much 
in Monterey while the batallon was there, wlio was intimat» with Capt. Paty, 
on whoso vessel tlie soldiers left Cal., and who conversed with many promi- 
nent residents of the capital and of Los Angeles, speaks in very compbment- 
ary terms of these men. It is true that a few of them stole chickens, but 
most of them had great respect for their general, and behaved themselves 
wonderfully well. Abrego, in Cerrutl's Hamhlings, MS., 188, defends the 
cholos, who did nothing worse than steal to satisfy their hunger and cover 
their nakedness. Janssens, \'ida, MS., 177, thinks the soldiers committed 
only trifling thefts, for which they were often punished. Machado, Tiempos 
Pasados, MS., 35-G, says tliey behaved well enough at S. Diego. 


and it is doubtful if any soldiers could be restrained 
by any discipline — certainly not by any Mexican dis- 
cipline — from such excesses when, as was true in this 
case, they were not paid, and very inadequately fed 
and clothed. In respect of gambling, intoxication, 
licentiousness, and proneness to disorderly conduct 
or murderous assaults, no Mexican or Californian sol- 
diers had of late years borne or deserved a very high 
reputation; but I find no clear evidence that Michel- 
torena's men were any better or much worse than 
others. And this it must be remembered is a high 
compliment to the cholos, when we consider their 
antecedents and the circumstances. The statements 
of Alvarado and other Californians, representing the 
stay of the cholos at Monterey as causing a reign of 
terror in which vice, robber}', outrage, and murder 
v/ere rampant — neither property, life, nor the honor 
of women being safe — must be regarded as the exag- 
gerations of men in search of a justification for later 
revolt. On the other hand, there was much of preju- 
dice in favor of Micheltorena and his men on the 
part of Sutter, Bidwell, Larkin, and others, who 
defended them more or less warmly because they 
hoped to receive personal benefits from the governor, 
whose friendly policy in land matters covered a mn\- 
titude of sins in the eyes of foreigners. 

While many officers of the batallon are represented 
as having been as bad as their men, whose raids on the 
hen-roosts they did not discourage, Micheltorena must 
certainly be credited with having displayed much tact in 
the management of his undisciplined followers. Even 
those who grossly exaggerate the excesses of the lat- 
ter, generally admit that the general did his best to 
restrain them. He listened patiently to complaints; 
paid for all losses so long as he had any money, it be- 
ing more than hinted that some thrifty housewives got 
pay for divers pots and kettles never lost, or which 
they had been glad to lose; and not only chided the 
offenders, but often had them arrested and flogged, 


always retaining however tlie friendship and respect 
of all, and thus a certain control over tliem which it 
would have been dangerous to lose. Osio says that 
Micheltorena not only made a jest of his soldiers' thiev- 
ing achievements, and refused to punish them, but 
quarrelled with Colonel Tellez and other officers who 
protested against such excesses and insisted on main- 
taining a semblance of discipline — being moved to 
wrath and tears at sight of the cholos' bloody backs, 
the result of floggings inflicted by order of Tellez! 
This writer, like Alvarado, Vallejo, Spence, and others, 
blames the general for his "criminal lack of energy" 
in failing to control his men. He should have shot 
some of the worst cholos as an example, they said, 
or should have shipped them all away, or sent them to 
fight Indians in the Tulares, or to work and be fed on 
the northern frontier. It is true enough that Michel- 
torena was an easy-going, indolent officer; and it is 
possible that a more energetic man might have man- 
aged the matter better, though difficult to say exactly 
how. "It was hard," as he wrote to the government, 
"to shoot a hungry, unpaid soldier for pilfering food;" 
and there was moreover no little danger, if severe 
measures were resorted to, of transforming the convict 
batallon into an armed band of roving marauders, with 
the property and lives of the Califurnians largely at 
their mercy. The general had no right as a Mexican 
officer to send his soldiers out of the country, and to 
have done so would have been to involve himself in 
serious complications with his superiors; even had he 
been free from the apprehension, as he certainly was 
not, that without the support of an armed force his 
own authority was likely enough to be disregarded by 
the Californians. So much for the cholos and their 
conduct. In a later chapter we shall see what means 
were eventually employed to get rid of them. 




Anticipation of a Change — Policy of Governor and Padres — Michel- 
torena's Decree Restoring the Missions to the Feiars — Motives — 
The Change Effected — Mission L.^nds— Missionary Personnel and 
Officials — The Bishop and his Financial Trofbles — Tithes— Garcia 
Diego and Vallejo — Patroness of the Diocese— Friars not to be 
Politicians — Scandal Prevented — Commercial Regulations — Smcg- 
GLiNG — Fear of Losing the Boston Trade— Whalers — Minor Items 
^Custom-house Officials — ^Finance — Falling-ofp of Revenues — 
List of Vessels. 

Some change in mission management was to be ex- 
pected under a new ruler, especially in view of Mich- 
el torena's extraordinary powers, and the concessions 
made in Mexico to Bishop Garcia Diego. It does not 
appear that Micheltorena's policy respecting the mis- 
sion property differed in any essential respect from 
that of Alvarado; but that property, so far as it was 
available for the needs of the government, was prac- 
tically exhausted; and the governor was willing to 
conciliate the bishop and friars by introducing any kind 
of a change that would not involve expense. There 
was no thought of really restoring the old mission sys- 
tem. The padres had no hope of such a restoration, 
and probably no desire for it, being old men, unfit for 
a resumption of the active missionary work of other 
days; while the bishop of course would have opposed 
any real restoration of a system which would have 
left no place for his episcopal services. The fact was 
recognized by all that the mission system was dead. 



The plan was now to support the friars, acting prac- 
tically as curates, by restoring to them the church 
property, with such lands and cattle as had not yet 
been disposed of, and such neophytes as could be 
induced to work in community, in the hope that the 
establishments might thus be rendered at least self- 
supporting, and perhaps might yield a surplus for gov- 
ernmental and episcopal needs. 

On the 29th of March, 1843, Micheltorena issued 
a decree restoring to the padres the temporal man- 
agement of twelve missions, on condition that one 
eighth of the total annual produce of every description 
should be paid into the public treasury.^ In a pre- 

' Micheltorena, Decreto jior el cual de.vuelve. la administracion de Misiones d 
lox/miles, 20 de iia,zo, 1S43, MS.; also in Arch., Sla B., LIS., vi. 141-7; x. 
213-C4; OU-era. Doc, MS., 22-5; VaUejo, Doc, MS., xi. 327; Haijes' iViss. 
Dook, i. 358; IlcdlecISs Report, appeu., no. 19; Jones' Report, 71; Dwinel'e's 
Colon. Hist., add., 83-4. Some of the documents bear date of March 2CJi, 
v.'hcn the decree was addressed to the mission presidents before being formally 
published. The articles of the order are as follows: 

1. The govt will deliver to the padres named by their prelate for each^ 
the missions of S. Diego, S. Luis Key, S. Juan Capistrano, S. Gabriel, S. 
Fernando, S. Buenaventura, Sta Barbara, Purisima, Sta In^s (erroneously 
called Sta Cruz by Halleck), Sta Clara, S. Antonio, and S. JosiS, to be ad- 
uiiniatercd by them as guardians of the Indians, as in former times. 2. Since 
policy makes irrevocable what has already been done, the missions cannot 
reclaim any lands that have been granted ; but thoy may gather in all tho 
li\o-stock and implements that have been loaned by the guardians or admiu- 
iotrntors, making friendly arrangements with the debtors or holders as to time 
and manner. 3. They will also collect all scattered neojihytes except, 1st, 
those lav/fully freed from ueophytism by the govt, and 2d, those now iu the 
service of private persons; though those of both classes may return volun- 
tarily to tlicir missions witli the consent of tlieir masters and of the mission- 
aiies. 4. The dopt. govt, iu whose possession the missions have been till 
now, by virtue of its most am^lc powers and for the reasons already stated, 
authorizes tho ministers to provide from the mission products for tho iudis- 
j-encablo expenses of tlie conversion, food, clothing, and other temporal 
necessides of th.e Indians; and also to take from the same fund the moderate 
sum needed for their ov, ii sustenance, for the economical salary of the major- 
domo, and for the support of divine worship — on the condition that they be 
held bound upon their honor and conscience to pay into the treasury, on the 
gDvei-nor"3 order, for the support of troops and needs of civil employes, one 
eighth of the total annual produce and revenue of every kind, taking care also 
to render through their jirelates an exact report at the end of each year on 
the neophytes r,ud property of eacli mission. 5. The govt, priding itself in 
being rcli;,'ious as well as wholly Californian, and thus interested iu the prog- 
ress of the catholic faith and prosperity of tho country, offers all its power in 
aid of the missions, as it will also protect private individuals iu tho posses- 
sion of lands which they now hold; promising, however, to make nouev,- grant 
without a report from the local authorities ami from the padres, unless in case 
of noiorious nou-oeoupation, non-cultivation, or necessity. 
Hist. Cal., Vol. IV. 21 


lude lie explained that this action was taken in accord 
with the ideas of presidents Jimeno and Gonzalez; 
and stated as his motives the facts that the mission 
establishments had now been reduced to the mere 
space occupied by the buildings and orchards; that the 
padres had no support but that of charity; that pub- 
lic worship was hardly kept up; that the Indians pre- 
ferred a savage life in the desert to one of slavery 
Avith insufficient food and clothing; that continual 
changes of the Indians from mission to private ser- 
vice and back again was a great drawback to agricul- 
ture as v.^ell as to religion ; that there had been notorious 
fraud and waste in past management; and finally, that 
there was "no other remedy for reviving the skeleton 
of a giant like what remains of the missions than 
that of having recourse to experience and propping 
it up with the lever of civil and ecclesiastical au- 

Under the regulation just cited, the padres became 
independent of the administrators, with whom as a 
rule their relations had not been friendly. They were 
enabled to protect from injury and loss certain prop- 
erty in the shape of buildings and gardens, which in 
the natural order of things would revert to the church. 
With the small remnant of cattle and implements left 
from the general wreck, with the few Indians whom 
past changes had left in the communities, and with the 
temporary use of such poor lands as had not yet been 
granted to private ownership, the friars might now 
toil to support themselves. To do so was doubtless 
deemed a privilege by them, though the new life was 
in strong contrast to that of former j'ears. Few if 
any dreamed of recovering their old power and wealth ; 
but they hoped by the change to avoid at least certain 
persona] humiliations and annoying complications with 
local and departmental authorities. On the other 
hand, the act was doubtless a wise one on the part of 
Micheltorena, who did for the friars all that he had a 
right to do. So completely had the missions been 


stripped in one way or another of all that was valua- 
ble, that revenues could no longer be depended on ; 
and the eighth of total production guaranteed under 
the new management was expected to prove a gain. 
In the matter of granting lands, no real change was 
inti'oduced; mission lands could still be granted — in- 
deed, the governor had no power to divest himself of 
that right^whenever they were not needed for the 
neophytes, or whenever public necessity required it; 
and without these conditions, they could not have 
been granted, theoretically at least, before. 

In April the governor instructed administrators to 
deliver the missions in accordance with the new regu- 
lations; and Prefect Duran issued corresponding in- 
structions to the padres. The latter wei'e exhorted 
to receive the property by inventory ; to perform with 
the utmost exactness the duties imposed on their honor 
and conscience; to invest any sui'plus of revenue in 
live-stock or in means for new conversions, but not in 
any case to sell anything for money; and to make the 
best use of this opportunity to save the neophytes and 
their property from utter destruction. None of the 
friai's were to be transferred from the missions where 
they were living.^ I suppose the change was prompt- 
ly effected as ordered without opposition from either 
friars or administrators, though I find no definite 
record on the subject beyond a few local items of 
minor importance.^ 

The only changes to be recorded in the mission- 
ary personnel in 1842-4 were the arrival of padres 
Gomez, Muro, and Rosales from Zacatecas; the de- 
parture in 1844-5 of Mercado, Real, and Quijas to the 

' April .S, 1S43, gov. to admin. Dept. Bee, MS., xiii. 50-1. April 18th, 
Duran to padres. Oivera, Doc, MS., 24-5; Arch., Sla B., MS., vi. 284-9. 

^ April 4th, order from prefect for S. Jos6 Indians not emancipated to 
report themselves to the person in charge. S. Josi, Arch., MS., ii. 33. 
Marcli (?) 1st, admin, of S. Gabriel ordered to surrender the temporalities to 
P. Est^nega. DepL Rec, MS., xiii. 42. S. Luis Rey delivered to P. Zalvidea 
in April. Id., xiii. 46, 56; Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., ii. 40-3. April 23d, 
gov. appoints iiiterventores for the delivery of S. Fernando. Coronet, Doc, 
MS., 227. June 10th, P. Zalvidea lends J. M. Osuna of S. Diego 89 cattle 
and Jos6 Lopez 60, each to have half the increase. Marron, Papeles, MS., 1. 


same college; and the death in 1842 of Padre Ramon 
Abella, the senior Fernandino in California, and the 
only survivor of those who had come to the country 
before 1800. Meanwhile Duran continued to hold 
the office of prefect and Jimeno that of president of 
the southern missions; while, on the resignation of 
Gonzalez, the vice-prefect and president of the Zaca- 
tecanos, Lorenzo Quijas was appointed to the former 
office and Antonio Anzar to the latter.'' At difi'ei'ent 
dates in the late autumn the friars took the required 
oath in support of the bases constitucionales of 

Bishop Garcia Diego was prevented from carrying 
out his grand schemes for the development of Cali- 
fornian piety by the same difficulty that embarrassed 
the governor in his efforts for the country's secular well- 
being — namely, a lack of funds. He could obtain from 
Mexico no part either of his salary or of the pious-fund 
revenues which the government had pledged itself to 
pay for the propagation of the gospel in California.* 
The bishop's only other resources were the voluntary 
contributions of his flock, which are said to have 
amounted to several thousand dollars in the Santa 
Barbara region, and the collection of tithes. In this 
collection he found great obstacles and small profits. 
Few had paid tithes in past years and many refused 
to do so now. By law the payment was optional and 
a matter of conscience; accordingly the secular au- 
thorities refused to interfere in the bishop's behalf, 
though Micheltorena ingeniously contrived to put his 
refusal in the shape of a zealous plea in favor of church 
prerogatives.'' In the north the opposition was more 

* March 6th, appointment at Zacatecaa of Quijas and Anear, announced 
iu Cal. Oct. 10th. Arch. Obispado, MS., 65; S. Josi, Patentes, MS., 226- 
31; Sta Clara, Parroquia, MS., 28. 

5 Arch. Arzob., MS., v. pt ii. 35, etc. 

^ The govt had, however, the assurance to call for a statement of the bienea 
de temporalidades de religiosoa in Califoraia, since the estates of friars, save 
those devoted to charity, had been placed at the disposal of the treasury ! 
Unbound Doc, MS., 2-3. 

"March 1, 1843, M. to the bishop. 'This govt wliich has always gloried 
in being catholic, apostolic, and Roman, and which takes pride iu protesting 


pronounced than in the south, though nowhere out- 
side of Santa Barbara did the revenue much exceed 
the cost of collection. Vallejo at Sonoma flatly re- 
fused to pay the diezino, and had a controversy, verbal 
and in writing, with Padre Mercado, the collector. 
Vallejo declared that he had for years supported the 
church at Sonoma at his own expense ; that he would 
still make liberal contributions for religious purposes, 
and would contribute still more liberally for the estab- 
lishment of new missions on the frontier; but that he 
would by no means recognize the right of the bishop 
to a tenth of his property, to be spent on impractica- 
ble and profitless episcopal schemes.^ Vallejo was 
too powerful and liberal a man to be punished by ex- 
communication, though that terrible penalty was freely 
held over the heads of others. Jos^ Sanchez was 
refused the consolations of religion on his death-bed 
in consequence of having followed Vallejo's example 
in refusing the payment of tithes; and for the same 
reason his body, for a time at least, was denied Chris- 
tian burial by Mercado and Quijas.'' 

in the face of the universe that it will remain so, has learned with the great- 
est displeasure that sordid avarice pretends to cloak its amijitious viewo with 
reference to the payment of tithes under the pretext of being liable to pay 
them double — to the holy mother church and to the civil authority. There- 
fore it is a sacred duty to exercise the first obligation of the departmental 
executive by assuring all citizens and your most illustrious lordship that this 
govt, confiding altogether in divine providence, will need no more than its 
own revenues and resources for its necessities; and that while he has no right 
to lend his civil authority, and will in no way meddle in the collection or 
p.iyment of tithes, a matter left entirely to religion and to indi\'idual con- 
science, yet he will feel the most grateful satisfaction if citizens of the de- 
partment will fulfil in this respect the first of their duties toward divine wor- 
ship and its ministers. ' Dcpt. St. Paji., Anrf , MS., xii. 98-9: Micheltorena's 
Admmiilration, 12-13. JIarch 9th, April 26th, June 22d, prefect's orders 
that the civil authorities are not to enforce the payment of tithes. S. Jo»(, 
Arch., MS., ii. 28, 93; S. Diego, Arch., Imlex, MS., 127. Jan. 20th, bish- 
op's order- from the hospicio episcopal of Sta Barbara — that all the faith- 
ful must pay tithes to the administrators appointed — the padres being ex- 
empt. Arch. Obinpado, MS., 24. 

^ilarch ISth, 19th, corresp. between V. and Mercado, with reference to 
personal interviews. Vallejo, Doc, AIS., xi. 347-30; Siibcrancs, Doc, SIS., 
282-3. Vallejo, Ilist.Cal., MS., iv. 70-80, tells the story; and also copies 
the appointment and instructions of Hartnell as admiuisti'ator of tithes in 
the south, uuder date of Jan. 8th. Alvarado, JIM. Cat., MS., iii. 35-6; iv. 
150-3, represents Quijas as having preached very pointedly at Vallejo in con- 
nection with this matter, to the great indignation of Solano. 

"June 29, 1843, sons of Jose Sanchez to com. gen. Soberaneo, Doc, MS., 


The bishop was despondent in consequence of his 
failure to provide properly for financial necessities and 
of the indifference to church obligations and episcopal 
authority manifested by so many prominent Califor- 
nians. Yet there were certain benefits that could be 
conferred on an undeserving people in spite of them- 
selves. On January 4th, he announced the designa- 
tion of our lady the virgen del Refugio as chief patro- 
ness of the diocese, naming San Francisco de Asis and 
San Francisco de Sales as co-patrons of the second 
order. The swearing of allegiance to these divine pa- 
trons was to be performed with all possible ceremony 
at every church on the first Sunday following the 
receipt of the proclamation.*" Bishop Francisco also 
found time this year to issue a pastoral letter, in which 
he enjoined it upon his clergy never to speak in public 
exhortation or private conversation any word that 
might be construed as censure of the country's rulers. 
They must inculcate a spirit of obedience to the au- 
thorities, but keep aloof from politics. Another evil 
to be avoided was that of speaking against their breth- 
ren, whether Mexicans or Californians.^^ Yet another 
achievement must be placed to the bishop's credit. 
He succeeded in inducing Micheltorena to give a practi- 
cal illustration of his devotion to church precepts and 
to the cause of good morals, by marrying the woman 
he had brought from Mexico as his mistress. ^^ 

Foreign vessels entering any other port than tliat 
of Monterey were in 1843, as before, required to take 

292-5. Dec. , Prado Mesa to Vallejo. Excommunication from the bishop is 
hourly expected by many. VaUfjo, Doc, MS., xi. 473. 

'"Jan. 4, 1843, bishop's proclamation, beginning 'Rejoice, for ye are al- 
ready under her powerful protection,' etc., prescribing the ceremonies of the 
oath, granting 40 days' indulgence, bestowing his pastoral blessing, and con- 
cluding 'What a memorable and happy year for the Californias!' S. Josi', 
Patentes, MS., 215-25. The required ceremony was performed at S. JosiS 
Mission on April 16th, Iil., 225-6; and at S. J^tonio on JMarch 26th, with 
great rejoicings, bells, rockets, salutes of cannon, church adornment, and illu- 
minations. Arch. Obispado, MS., 64. 

"Pastoral letter. Arch. Obispado, MS., 25. 

'-' I have not seen any contemporary record of the marriage, but many re- 
member the fact. 


a guard on board and to depart with the shortest pos- 
sible delay for the capital and only port of entry. Yet 
many vessels, whose masters knew the regulations 
perfectly, came first to the other ports on some more 
or less plausible pretext, and remained a day or two 
with the guard in charge as the law required. The 
supercargo of one vessel explains how a cargo of $20,- 

000 was landed secretly by night at San Francisco, 
leaving goods on board to the amount of about $1,100 
for the later inspection of the revenue officers. Of 
course the guard was bribed to remain in a state-room 
with a liberal supply of aguardiente and cigars, in pre- 
tended ignorance of what was being done with the 
cargo; and it is even implied that he had been selected 
for this duty by the receptor, with a view to the re- 
sult." The methods adopted by this vessel were nat- 
urally employed by others, the masters and supercar- 
goes being guided in their choice of ports by the influ- 
ence they could bring to bear on local authorities. 
This method had now supplanted to a great extent the 
earlier one of landing goods in out-of-the-way places 
to be reshipped after settlement at the custom-house. 

1 think there can be no doubt that three fourtlis of 
the years' importations paid no duties, the amounts 
entered at Monterey being, as a rule, absurdly small. 

After visiting Monterey, vessels were free to trade 
at retail or wholesale up and down the coast under no 
restrictions as to landing-places; and this in spite of 
Mexican laws on the subject, laws supplemented this 
year by a decree absolutely prohibiting the retail trade 
by foreigners." Indeed, the fear was that the Boston 
ships would abandon the trade altogether, so difficult 
had it become to obtain cargoes of produce, to collect 
debts, and to compete successfully in trade with rivals, 

" Davis' Glimpses, MS. , 89-90. The vessel was the DoJi Quixote, Paty, 
master, from Oahu. Davis and Spear were intimate friends of D. Francisco 
Guerrero, the receptor. 

I'Sept. 23, 1843. Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., i. 48. It does not clearly ap- 
pear that this decree, however, was formally pub.ished in Cal. before the end 
of the year. 


whose number was increasing and whose methods were 
illegitimate. But it was from the Boston ships that 
the country's revenue was mainly derived, and to en- 
courage their coming Micheltorena at one time resolved 
to go so far as to prohibit the introduction of foreign 
goods by Mexican vessels, though it does not appear 
that he issued such an order this year.^^ Another 
obstacle to the success of legitimate trade Avas tlie 
privilege that had been allowed to whalers of selling- 
goods to pay for the supplies the}^ needed. Not only, 
having no tonnage duties to pay, no long sta}^ to make 
on the coast, and no extra expenses by reason of their 
commercial ventures, could they undersell all rivals; 
but they took advantage of their license to sell secret- 
ly an amount of goods greatlj^ exceeding their privi- 
lege, both on their own account and in aid of smug- 
glers. This year, in the fear of losing the benefits of 
the Boston trade, whalers were deprived of the privi- 
lege, always illegal, of selling goods at all.^® The total 

'^ Aug. 13, 18i3, Isi. to Larkin. Larkia's Doc, MS., ii. 29. 

" Jan. 33th, whalers e.-einpt from tonnage dues temporarily. Pinto, Doc. , 
MS., i. 397. March loth, 17th, April 4th, strict orders, both gee oral and in 
the cases of particular vessels, requiring that whalers witli goods for sale be 
shown no special favor, and be refjuired to show papers from Monterey I'ke 
other vessels, fd., ii. 3-1; rallejo. Doc, MS., xi. 345; Soberwies, Z^oc'MS., 
2S4~G. Aug. loi'.i, }.IiLlieltin-ena to Larkin. Refuses his request for a whaler 
to sell goods su!'.i> : ;;; ii ji ::■:.:. i. ■• , ::iii.lies, and explains his reasons at Go;iie 
length. L. Ii vl i 1 as U. S. consul; but M. clai-.u.? tliat 

the prohibiti";i : : ' , ■ i i i ■ than the G months required l>y iaicr- 
national comity. /.'/•/ ■ / ^ >!^..ii, 29. Oct., a whaler seized at Sta 
Cruz. Dejit. St. Pap., iLS., xviii. 74. Oct., Nov., whalersat S. Diego required 
to pay tonnage dues, and not allowed to take whales in the bay— though they 
did so all the same. .S. Diei/o, Arch., MS., 7; Id., Index, 148; Depi. St.. Pep., 
Aug., MS., vii. 97. April 2.5th, Dec. 31st, stringent regulations on the sale 
of hides, marks, etc., issued by the juez at Monterey first, and later by the 
gov. There was to be a police agent at every port, without whoso examina- 
tion and approval no hide could be sold, under penalty of confiscatio;i and 
fine. V<.dkjo,D'-..'^^'< ---.-.m. '?.'^%: 1,1.. HUt. Cal. MS., ir. 36}-3; S. Dk:p, 
ArcL, MS., •2'.n: / ' '■ .! ' listrcUion, 19-20; Doc. Hist. Cal., MS., 

i. 43G. Valltj", . i -l .0-7, says M. approved his plan for 

moving the cuobi ; :, ,,: < i i -.. i ,, I ;il had to wait for resources from Me.xico! 
Jan. 10th, coinpluuiL ajaiasi i;ah:ii(lson for allowing vessels to anchor at 
SauzaUto, and also allov.iug Aiiialcrs to trade. Dept. St. Pap., Ben., MS., iii. 
40. Jan. 30th, besides 23 ]icr cent on value of some flour, salmon, and butter, 
a 'consumption due' of 20 per cent on the 25 per cent was collected. Pinto, 
Doc, MS., i. 400. Strict orders from Monterey on precautious with vessels 
at other ports. Id., i. 398-7; ii. 2-3, 7, 23, 36. March 21st, order to bum 
all foreign cotton not obeyed in Cal. Dept. St. Pap., Sen., MS., iii. 45. April 
7th, order from Mexico to add 20 per cent to import duties during the war 


amount of receipts at the custom-house was only $52,- 
000, or about half of what it had been in 1841. Man- 
uel Castauares retained his position as administrator, 
though Pablo de la Guerra was usually acting in that 
capacity; and the revenue employes obtained